Community Law & Mediation (CLM) held a roundtable on Women in the Workplace in November. The roundtable was timed to coincide with the start of a new monthly clinic run by CLM and the National Women’s Council of Ireland (and funded by IHREC) which provides provide free legal advice to women facing gender discrimination in the workplace.
The aim of the roundtable was to provide information on the landscape for women in the workplace and leading experts were invited to speak - including Marguerite Bolger SC, Dr Mary Murphy, Maynooth University and former Member of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, Rachael Ryan of SIPTU, Amie Lajoie of TASC and Denise Roche of NWCI. It also aimed to facilitate individuals and organisations working in the area to identify particular challenges for women in the workplace and to examine the sectors which tend to present more challenges.
At CLM, we have seen a consistent rise in the demand for free legal advice and representation in employment and equality cases. The employment relationship is one characterised by an imbalance in power and resources. Currently, the civil legal aid scheme does not cover cases taken to the Workplace Relations Commission, creating a serious barrier to people accessing justice in employment law.
We intend to focus further on this topic in 2020, through our law and policy reform work as well as through our strategic litigation. Many women who access our services are low paid workers often in precarious employment, and we see that poverty and precarity having a detrimental effect on every aspect of their lives.
Click here to read more on the roundtable on Women in the Workplace.