Employment Equality Act, 1998

Investigations by Director or the Labour Court.

79.—(1) Where a case which has been referred to the Director or the Labour Court under section 77

(a) does not fall to be dealt with by way of mediation under section 78 , or

(b) falls to be dealt with under this section by virtue of section 78 (7),

the Director or the Labour Court, as the case may be, shall investigate the case and hear all persons appearing to the Director or that Court to be interested and desiring to be heard.

(2) An investigation under this section shall be held in private unless, at the request of one of the parties to an investigation by the Labour Court, that Court determines to hold the investigation, or so much of it as that Court does not consider should be treated as confidential, in public.

(3) If, in a case which is referred on the ground that the complainant is not receiving remuneration in accordance with an equal remuneration term, a question arises whether the different rates of remuneration to which the case relates are lawful by virtue of section 19 (5) or 29 (5), the Director may direct that that question shall be investigated as a preliminary issue and shall proceed accordingly.

(4) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), the Minister may by regulations specify—

(a) procedures to be followed by the Director or, as the case may be, the Labour Court in carrying out investigations (or any description of investigations) under this section, and

(b) time limits applicable to such investigations, including procedures for extending those limits in certain circumstances,

but, before making any such regulations, the Minister shall consult the Labour Court, the Authority and the Director; and any such regulations relating to functions of the Labour Court shall be made only with the consent of the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

(5) Unless the Director or the Labour Court considers it necessary to do so in order to bring an investigation to a proper conclusion, information shall be neither sought nor relied upon for the purpose of an investigation under this section (or of any appeal subsequent thereto) if it relates to or is derived from communications with external advisers to any of the persons referred to in paragraphs (a) to (d) of section 76 (5).

(6) At the conclusion of an investigation under this section (including an investigation of a preliminary issue under subsection (3)), the Director shall issue a decision or, as the case may be, the Labour Court shall make a determination and, if the decision or determination is in favour of the complainant—

(a) it shall provide for redress in accordance with section 82 , or

(b) in the case of a decision on a preliminary issue under subsection (3), it shall be followed by an investigation of the substantive issue.