A female Statistician with Teagasc, a State agriculture and research body, has had a big win at the Workplace Relations Commission in her claim about being paid less than a male colleague. The amount of the payout to the employee, Ms Reid, could be in the region of €140,000 if figures submitted by Ms Reid to the WRC are accepted.
The basis of her claim was that she was paid €20,000 less per year than a male counterpart who was doing the same work. Ms Reid raised the issue with various persons in Teagasc in 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009 and since then.
Ms Reid has been employed with Teagasc since 1977. Her issue had been going on for 21 years and she had emailed the employer in 2019 to point this out and claim that Teagasc did not want to resolve the issue.
The WRC adjudicator noted that the job description of Ms Reid and her comparator, Mr Grant, “are identical”. They were doing the same work, or like work, and she was paid €20,000 less per annum than the male comparator.
The adjudicator, Jim Dolan, found the treatment of Ms Reid to be “absolutely shocking”.
Teagasc’s position was that the difference “relates to Dr Grant’s grade, skills, experience and qualifications and not gender” and that the comparator had more responsibility and had completed a PhD some 18 years prior.
The WRC adjudicator did not agree and accepted that Ms Reid cleared the two hurdles she needed to clear in order to make a discrimination claim about pay:
- She proved she was engaged in like work with a comparator
- She proved she was paid less than the comparator
The Workplace Relations Commission awarded Ms Reid €40,000 in compensation for the discrimination. But it also determined that she be paid arrears since 2017 and that she be put on the appropriate pay scale. The arrears, according to figures submitted by Ms Reid, could amount to €100,000.