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Nurse awarded 56,000 in Maternity Discrimination Case

Tina Lukose, a nurse, recently won a significant case against her former employer, Riada Care Ltd. trading as Glenashling Nursing Home, for maternity discrimination. She was awarded over €56,000 after her employer abandoned a maternity rights hearing due to a technicality regarding the complaint form.

Background of the Case

Tina Lukose, represented by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), filed a complaint against Riada Care Ltd, alleging discrimination for not offering her a permanent contract after her fixed-term contract ended in August 2022. She was pregnant since January of that year and had informed her employer about her pregnancy when requesting annual leave in July.

Discrimination Allegations

Lukose claimed that unlike other employees whose fixed-term contracts expired, she was informed only in July that she wouldn’t be offered a permanent contract. In a desperate attempt, she requested an extension to her contract until the start of her maternity leave. The company obliged, but her employment ended in October 2022.

Legal Proceedings

During the hearing on 30th November, Riada Care’s legal representative argued that the complaint was invalid because the name on the complaint form didn’t match the legal entity. They contended that as “Glenashling Nursing Home” wasn’t a legal entity, the complaint should be deemed invalid. Despite attempts to amend the complaint form, the legal representative insisted that the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) had no authority to do so.

WRC Decision

The adjudicator, Breiffni O’Neill, decided to proceed with the hearing despite the technicality. However, after consultation, Riada Care’s legal team withdrew from the hearing. O’Neill proceeded with the case and ruled in Lukose’s favour. He noted that Riada Care failed to present any evidence to rebut the discrimination allegations, leading to a maximum compensation award under the Employment Equality Act.

Compensation Award

O’Neill awarded Lukose €56,000, equivalent to 104 weeks’ pay, for the discrimination she faced. He emphasised the seriousness of pregnancy-related discrimination, citing previous legal precedents that supported maximum compensation in the absence of a counter-argument from the employer.


Tina Lukose’s case highlights the importance of upholding maternity rights in the workplace and the severe consequences of discrimination. Despite the legal technicality, the decision reaffirms the responsibility of employers to adhere to employment laws and treat pregnant employees fairly.

If you need assistance with any HR queries such as maternity leave, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with GHR Consulting.