CASE REF: 00340/99 FET
APPLICANT: Eamon Hackett
RESPONDENT: Moy Park Limited
The unanimous decision of the Tribunal is to dismiss the application.
Mr Hackett appeared without representation. The respondent was represented by Mr R Steer, Barrister-at-Law.
The applicant was a Roman Catholic and the successful candidate was a Protestant. There were only two candidates for the post and the applicant alleged that he was better experienced for the post than the successful candidate and that the reason for the successful candidate's success and his own lack of success was the difference in their religion.
The respondent denied that the applicant was discriminated against and alleged that the post was filled after a fair selection procedure and on the basis of merit and merit alone.
(i) the applicant was a Roman Catholic and the successful candidate was a Protestant. There were only two candidates for this post though the respondent interviewed at the same time for the post of Manager, Packing Room Department.
(ii) the successful candidate applied for both of these posts. Candidate AH was the successful candidate in the Packing Department competition and she was a Protestant.
(iii) all of the members of the interview panel were Protestants.
(iv) the job advertisement for both posts – which were 'internal' vacancies – indicated that:-
(a) the successful applicant to each post will cover all aspects of a departmental production process with a particular focus on output and yield efficiencies through effective leadership and teamwork;
(b) candidates should have good people management experience with the desire/skill to instil change and improvement.
(v) the employee specification which was for Departmental Manager generally and not Dept Man – Primary Process or Packing Room – showed seven criteria and the essential and desirable aspects of those criteria. A copy of the Employee Specification is attached and marked 'A'. The range of marks attributable to each of the criteria were as follows:-
Criteria 1 Mark Range
Physical make-up, appearance, speech and health 6-7
Educational and Occupational 9-11
Tests, Reasoning ability 7-9
Disposition, leadership, self-reliance, motivation 7-9
(vi) The interview assessment sheets completed by the interviewees described the criteria as follows:-
Criteria 1 – Physical make-up, eg health and appearance
Criteria 2 – Attainments, eg education, other qualifications, training, experience
Criteria 3 – General intelligence, eg reasoning ability
Criteria 4 – Special aptitude, eg numerical, machinery, particular skills
Criteria 5 – Interests, eg sports/community/social involvement/artistic
Criteria 6 – Disposition, eg interpersonal skills, motivation, positive attitude,
Criteria 7 – Circumstances, eg mobility, car ownership, overtime
(vii) The applicant's application form, which like the others, contained columns for schools, further education, additional training or development, special qualifications, employment history, leisure pursuits and space for additional information contained no information beyond the statement – have worked as supervisor in all Departments since joining Moy Park on 8 December 1995 – worked for Moy Park in Donaghmore Hatchery hatching sexing day old chicks – was self-employed. Have supervised in all Departments for 3½ years on occasions without a manager. Never had any problems. I have a good working relationship with all workers.
(viii) The successful candidate showed:-
(a) his educational background – 8 GCSE with Grades B or C
(b) National Diploma in Food Technology
(c) Higher National Diploma in Food Technology
(d) Intermediate Food Hygiene Certificate
(e) Internal Courses in team-building, leadership skills, problem solving and team building activity weekend
(f) Full career history including:-
Relief Supervisor – Moy Park Packing Room (2 months to date),
Departmental Manager – Donegal Meats (1-2 months),
Supervisor – Moy Park Cutting Hall and five lines (3 years),
Weekend Shift Manager – Unipork, Control
Weekend Shift at Unipork Factory (7 months), and
Assistant Production Manager with Small Salad Company (9 months); and
(g) A detailed narrative description of his career and his reasons for thinking his experience made him suitable for the position advertised.
(ix) Nine multi-part questions were prepared to be used at interviews for Departmental Managers. Each interviewer was responsible for three questions. A copy of these questions is attached and marked 'B'.
probative at all. In this case, out of a possible 27 questions, we heard evidence in relation to one question as to the respective merit of the candidates' answers. The respondent is fortunate that the burden of proof does not lie upon the respondent. He is fortunate also that the applicant failed to raise a prima facie case of unlawful discrimination.
J E MAGUIRE
Date and place of hearing: 21-22 October 2002, Belfast
Date decision recorded in register and issued to parties: