Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Driving examiner wins sex bias case

A female driving test examiner has been awarded compensation for sex discrimination

A female driving test examiner has been awarded £9,000 compensation for sex discrimination.

Frances Colvin, 47, from Moneymore, Co Derry, took action against the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) after she was refused permission to go on a training course.

Ms Colvin, one of Northern Ireland's few female driving test examiners, has held an LGV licence since 1993.

Backed by the Equality Commission she brought her complaint to an industrial tribunal which ruled the DVA discriminated against her on grounds of her sex by failing to afford her the opportunity to go on a training course to be an LGV test examiner.

Ms Colvin said she was relieved the case was over.

She said: "I found it very difficult and distressing to take the case against my employers, but I believe that it's very important, not just for me but for all women, to make a stand against unfair treatment and I'm pleased with the tribunal's decision.

"I'm just looking forward now to progressing my career and fulfilling my ambition."

Ms Colvin has been employed by the DVA since September 2000. She works as a driving test examiner based in Cookstown and has held her LGV licence for almost 20 years.

According to the Equality Commission she repeatedly formally expressed a wish to train as an LGV examiner. The tribunal found she was treated differently to a male colleague who was sent on the course, even though he did not meet a course requirement, whereas Ms Colvin did.

The tribunal also found that the DVA treated Ms Colvin less favourably on grounds of her part-time working status - she works a 24-hour, three day week. An internal grievance procedure started in May last year, but a grievance meeting was delayed without explanation until the following October.

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