NI: Female engineer settles sex discrimination case for £5,000

NI: Female engineer settles sex discrimination case for £5,000

A female engineer who alleged she was subjected to unlawful sex discrimination has settled a case against her former employer for £5,000 with support from the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.

Grants Electric Services (NI) Ltd settled the case with former employee Amy Verner without admission of liability.

Ms Verner was employed by the firm as a design engineer and alleged that she was treated less favourably because colleagues within the company had decided that she would soon be pregnant as she was newly married. She was the only female engineer on her team.

She had worked on projects which involved testing which required her to work from client premises as well as her own office.

On returning to work after her marriage, Amy alleged these projects had been allocated to other engineers and that she was now tasked with office-based and Computer Aided Design (CAD) projects only.

Anne McKernan, director of legal of services at the Equality Commission, said: “Amy’s experiences highlight the need for all employers to take their employees concerns seriously and to have robust policies and procedures in place to deal with issues raised. They must not make assumptions about their female employees and subsequently treat them less favourably than their male counterparts.

“Women are an essential part of building our economy and currently women are persistently underrepresented across the STEM industries in Northern Ireland. It is important that skilled, knowledgeable and experienced women are encouraged to build a career in our STEM industries.”

As part of the settlement terms, Grants Electrical Services (NI) Limited has affirmed its commitment to the principle of equality of opportunity in the workplace and that it has agreed to meet with the Commission to review its policies, practices and procedures.

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