Equality Commission secures settlement for Strabane woman in age and sex discrimination case

Equality Commission secures settlement for Strabane woman in age and sex discrimination case

Mary Kitson

A woman has settled a case of age and sex discrimination against Domino’s Pizza in Strabane with the support of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.

Justin Quirk, then-owner of DP Strabane t/a Domino’s Pizza, has paid £4,250 and apologised to Janice Walsh, who was asked about her age when interviewing for a post as a delivery driver with the company.

Ms Walsh said the first question she was asked in the interview was about her age. The interviewer wrote down the answer, drew a circle around it and is said to have responded: “You don’t look it!” She subsequently found out she had been unsuccessful.

After messaging the business via Facebook to say she felt discriminated against, she received a telephone call from an interview panel member who apologised and said they did not know it was inappropriate to ask someone their age during an job interview.

She subsequently spoke to another person from Domino’s Pizza who said that the nature of the work tended to suit younger people between 18 and 30 years old.

Ms Walsh believed that she may have suffered sex discrimination as well, as she had only ever seen men working as delivery drivers. She noted that the company had continued to advertise for drivers after the interviews had taken place.

Mary Kitson, senior legal officer at the Equality Commission, said: “The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations came into effect in 2006 – 16 years ago. It’s important that employers of any size and for any job are aware of the basics of equality legislation and how it protects job applicants, as well as current employees, from age discrimination at work.

“People involved in recruitment and selection should be familiar with how people are protected by the legislation in order to keep the employer on the right side of the law. It’s really important not to allow stereotypical views of who can do particular jobs to influence decisions.”

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