Compensation agreed in Lennon v DRD case
Dr Alan Lennon has agreed to accept a sum of £150,000 in compensation following a Tribunal ruling earlier this year that he was subjected to religious discrimination by the Department of Regional Development.
Dr Lennon, OBE, assisted by the Equality Commission, brought the case against the Department when he challenged the public appointment process for the post of Chair at NI Water in March 2011.
The Tribunal ruled on 20 June 2012 that Dr Lennon had been the subject of unlawful discrimination on grounds of religious belief. The parties have agreed compensation in the sum of £150,000 which the Department of Regional Development will pay to Dr. Lennon.
Dr Lennon said today, “I am pleased that this case has finally been resolved. I took the case primarily to challenge what I believe to be serious flaws in the public appointments system and the level of compensation agreed marks the seriousness of what occurred. I note that commitments have been made by the Department to review these processes and it is vital for public confidence in government in Northern Ireland that this case acts as a springboard for change. I hope that this will result in a more transparent and equitable public appointments process.”
Evelyn Collins CBE, Chief Executive of the Equality Commission, said “The Commission supported this case to establish that public appointments, including those which involve the exercise of a Minister’s discretion, are fully within the protection of anti-discrimination legislation. If unlawful discrimination occurs it is important that there is a sufficient degree of transparency and accountability in the appointments process to enable it to be challenged, and an effective remedy for the person discriminated against is an essential part of that.”
“The Commission was pleased to note the commitment made to the Fair Employment Tribunal that DRD would look at issues arising out of the Tribunal hearing and discuss these with the Commission and the Commissioner for Public Appointments. We look forward to working together with all the bodies involved to ensure that the recruitment process for public appointments is fair to all applicants.”
Contact: Libby Kinney (028) 90500559 or Ciaran Bradley (028) 9050 0695 or (Mobile) 07715 476186