NUJ disappointed at RTÉ appeal against retirement judgment
9 January 2020
The National Union of Journalists has expressed grave disappointment at the decision of RTÉ to appeal the determination of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in favour of an NUJ member who had challenged enforced retirement on the grounds of age.
Anne Roper, a distinguished producer director, was awarded €100,000 in compensation following a finding that RTÉ was guilty of discrimination, contrary to Section 79 of the Employment Equality Act. The NUJ had sought, through internal procedures, to have her employment extended by 18 months but the employer insisted that she should retire at 65, even though her contract was silent on the issue of a retirement date.
Anne Roper subsequently took a case to the Workplace Relations Commission. She was represented by Donal Spring and Séamus Dooley, NUJ Irish Secretary, gave evidence in her support.
Séamus Dooley said the comprehensive determination published this week identified the need for clear criteria in relation to longer working and transparency surrounding retirement. He said:
“We are disappointed that RTÉ has decided to appeal the determination. Our member has had to suffer a highly unsatisfactory internal process and a very stressful WRC hearing, followed by a long wait for the adjudication. This appeal adds further stress to the individual but will also delay the implementation of a consistent, coherent and transparent retirement policy in RTÉ predicated on the principles and fairness.
The adjudication officer’s determination sets out useful precepts and it would have been preferable If RTÉ had accepted the findings and addressed the shortcomings identified in this case. Anne Roper and the legal team deserve credit for the manner in which this case has been pursued.”