Man awarded €8,000 after being discrimanted against over age

City of Dublin VEC cited department circular as reason for not shortlisting man for interview

The equality officer said the two graduates who were shortlisted for interview were not members of the Teaching Council

The equality officer said the two graduates who were shortlisted for interview were not members of the Teaching Council

Tue, Jul 22, 2014, 01:00

A man has been awarded €8,000 after the Equality Tribunal found City of Dublin VEC refused to shortlist him for a job interview on account of his age.

Brian Buggle was an occupational health and safety teacher with City of Dublin VEC (the respondent) for about nine years until he reached compulsory retirement age in 2011. After retiring, he applied for a part-time health and safety teaching position with the respondent but was told in September 2011 that he had not been shortlisted for interview.

Mr Buggle claimed the Department of Education had sent out a circular instructing the respondent to only hire newly qualified teachers over retired teachers.

Mr Buggle also stated that the person who was successful at interview had just qualified from Kevin Street College and had no work experience. Furthermore, Mr Buggle submitted, the candidate did not study health and safety in his college course.

Mr Buggle said the Department of Education circular states that where a newly qualified teacher does not have the appropriate qualifications, a retired teacher should be employed instead.

City of Dublin VEC cited the department circular as its reason for not shortlisting Mr Buggle for interview.

Departure from procedure

The equality officer Valerie Murtagh found that the manner in which the respondent applied the terms of the circular to the complainant was “a departure from normal procedure and did facilitate inadvertent and unconscious discriminatory treatment”.

Ms Murtagh also noted that the two graduates who were shortlisted for interview were not members of the Teaching Council and, therefore, did not satisfy City of Dublin VEC’s conditions for appointment but were nonetheless given more favourable treatment than Mr Buggle.

She found in favour of Mr Buggle and ordered City of Dublin VEC to pay him €8,000 compensation for the distress he suffered.