The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (“the Commission”) has today published a notification about the application of blanket anonymity rules to decisions of the Workplace Relations Commission (“the WRC”).
The Commission’s notification makes clear that there is no statutory requirement that all decisions of the WRC arising from complaints of discrimination be published in anonymised form.
The Commission has issued today’s notification in response to its own concerns, the concerns of legal practitioners, civil society advocates and those raised by the public more generally, that rules adopted by the WRC have resulted in its decisions being published without identifying the parties.
The requirement under Section 41 (14) of the Workplace Relations Act 2015 that decisions be published without identifying parties, does not apply to decisions under anti-discrimination legislation, the Commission has confirmed.
The Commission has a direct role, set out under the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014 “to promote understanding and awareness of the importance of human rights and equality in the State,” and has a specific function “to provide information to the public in relation to human rights and equality generally” and “keep under review the effectiveness of any enactments relating to the protection and promotion of human rights and equality.”
Emily Logan, Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has issued notifications to the Law Society, Bar Council, civil society advocates and legal practitioners, with information also placed on the Commission’s own website and on its social media.
The primary means of enforcement of anti-discrimination law is the individual and their power to make complaints. The ability to publicly see this power in action, with employers and service providers, who have engaged in discrimination or harassment, identified through complaints, stimulates not only public discussion of the issues involved, but also awareness and empowerment for others to also challenge discrimination.
Today’s notification, issued following engagement with the WRC, is intended to clarify issues arising from the publication of decisions by the WRC relating to employment equality (under the Employment Equality Acts) and to discrimination in the provision of goods and services (under the Equal Status Acts).
Emily Logan, Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission stated:
“The greatest enabler we have in challenging discrimination in our society is information, and where instances of discrimination are challenged, there should be visibility of those challenges and the outcomes.”
“The identification of employers and services providers that have discriminated against employees and people availing of services, will ensure that legal protections against discrimination are effective and dissuasive.”
For further information, please contact:
Brian Dawson, IHREC Communications Manager,
01 8589601 / 087 0697095
Follow us on twitter @_IHREC
A link to the guidance issued by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is available at the following link:
Information on Rights
The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission can provide individuals with information on the rights and the remedies available to them under equality and human rights law in Ireland. People can learn more about your rights on the Commission website http://www.ihrec.ie/your-rights/
People can also call 01 858 3000 or Lo-call 1 890 245545
E-mail YourRights@ihrec.ie or write to Your Rights, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, 16-22 Green Street, Dublin 7.
This includes information on:
- Work-related discrimination
- Discrimination in relation to goods and services
- Discrimination in relation to education
- Human rights protections afforded under Irish law
Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission
The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission was established on 1 November 2014. The Commission is Ireland’s national human rights institution and is recognised as such by the United Nations. The Commission is also Ireland’s national equality body for the purpose of a range of EU anti-discrimination measures.
Under the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014, the Commission’s principal functions are –
- to protect and promote human rights and equality,
- to encourage the development of a culture of respect for human rights, equality, and intercultural understanding in the State,
- to promote understanding and awareness of the importance of human rights and equality in the State,
- to encourage good practice in intercultural relations, to promote tolerance and acceptance of diversity in the State and respect for the freedom and dignity of each person, and
- to work towards the elimination of human rights abuses, discrimination and prohibited conduct.