Making a complaint about discrimination

Here, we look at how you can go about making a complaint if you feel that you have experienced discrimination because of your mental health difficulty.

Bringing a claim to the Equality Tribunal

The Equality Tribunal is separate to the Equality Authority. A tribunal is a court of justice. The Equality Tribunal hears and decides on cases of discrimination under equality legislation.

To make a complaint, you must apply within six months of the date of the discrimination. You must also take the first steps toward making a complaint within the first two months.

You can represent yourself, or you can be represented by an advocate, lawyer or other representative. The Equality Authority has a legal service which can provide free legal aid. For criteria, visit: www.equality.ie/en/Information/Criteria-for-Representation.

In general, the maximum compensation awarded is two years’ pay.

What should I do before making a complaint?

• Think it through: You should think carefully about whether the different treatment was discrimination due to your mental health difficulty. You could ask yourself questions such as, “does everyone get treated like this?”; “why might I have been treated this way?” Might someone who does not have a mental health difficulty be treated in the same way?

• Keep a file : It might be worth keeping a file with relevant notes if you are thinking about making a case. This could include:
Lists of all discriminatory acts if there was more than one, with dates
Written notes from all meetings with the person on this issue
Detailed notes of any telephone conversations
Copies of relevant correspondence (emails etc.)