ACNI Chief Executive awarded £12,000 for Age Discrimination

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI) has settled an age discrimination case with its own chief executive for £12,000.

Roisin McDonagh alleged that she had been on the receiving end of age discrimination and victimisation from the public body.

The allegations are the result of a failure on the part of the Arts Council to progress a request from Ms McDonagh for flexible working time.  A request was made to alter her working days from 5 days a week to 4 days a week.  No decision was made and, instead, she was asked about her plans around retirement and if she had decided on a date.  This led to speculation and discussions within the workplace as to her position and who may be suitable to replace her.  These were discussions that Ms McDonagh felt undermined her position as chief executive.

Ms McDonough initiated an internal grievance procedure over ACNI’s failure to progress her request and subsequently claimed that she had suffered age discrimination. An internal panel upheld her grievance complaint and she started working four days a week in September 2017.  Her age discrimination and victimisation case against ACNI has also now been settled.

Mrs McDonough said “I believed my flexible retirement request was in line with the organisation’s human resources policies. I was disappointed that my request was not being progressed and felt under pressure to provide a definite date for retirement. I believed that this was inappropriate and that any decision on my retirement should be mine and mine alone.”

If you feel you have been victimised or discriminated against in your workplace, please call our specialist employment team us on 029 9032 9801 for a consultation.