asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many cases of discrimination were reported in the Province during the past year; how many were proved; and what steps were taken against those found guilty.
In the year ended March 1980, 42 complaints of unlawful discrimination involving matters within the scope of the Fair Employment (Northern Ireland) Act 1976 were made to the Fair Employment Agency for Northern Ireland. Of these, two were not proceeded with, eight were the subject of a finding by the agency of no unlawful discrimination and 32 were still under investigation at 31 March 1980.
In the same period 95 complaints of unlawful discrimination involving matters within the scope of the Sex Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 1976 or the Equal Pay Act (Northern Ireland) 1970 were made to the Equal Opportunities Commission for Northern Ireland.
Of these, four were the subject of county court proceedings, and 37 led to applications to industrial tribunals, together with a further eight complaints which had been made direct to the tribunals and not through the commission.
Of the four complaints which were the subject of county court proceedings, two were dismissed and two were still in progress at 31 March 1980. Of the 45 applications to industrial tribunals one was allowed on appeal (the applicant being awarded arrears of remuneration), 11 were dismissed, nine were withdrawn or settled without a hearing and 24 were in progress at the end of March. In the case of the remaining 54 complaints to the commission, the matter was either resolved without recourse to litigation or the complainant decided not to proceed further.
During 1979 six complaints were also made to the Commissioner for Complaints for Northern Ireland. Although all these fell outside his jurisdiction and were not investigated by him, the complainants were advised of the bodies where their complaints might appropriately be addressed.