Irish woman wins discrimination case

Warwick University has been ordered to pay £35,000 in compensation after an employment tribunal ruled that it had failed to hire a potential employee purely because she was Irish, according to the Guardian.

Patricia Walls, from Northern Ireland, was interviewed for a post as a research fellow in 2005, the aim of the job being to find out how to improve mental health services for ethnic minorities.

When Ms Walls was told during the interview that the minorities covered would be those from Afro-Caribbean and south Asian communities, she suggested the project should also cover the Irish and Chinese.

Ms Walls was passed over for the job for someone with much less experience, who had not even completed a PhD nor submitted a CV.

The interview panel members admitted to not having familiarised themselves with the university's equality and recruitment policies in the main and had assessed applicants on interview performance rather than the advertised criteria.

The tribunal concluded that Ms Walls was not considered for the job because interviewers assumed that she would not be committed to the project unless it included the Irish community - an assumption that could only be made about an Irish national.

Ms Walls was told that the tribunal found that the reasons interviewers gave for passing her over for the job were "very misleading", especially as she had been told the successful candidate held a full PhD.

Warwick University plans to appeal the charges of race discrimination and payment of compensation for loss of earnings and injury to feelings is on hold.

Anyone who feels they have been unfairly discriminated against in the workplace should contact their solicitor for advice.

Contact us for legal advice