The opinion was issued following the complaint filed by S.B.P. against the Command of Gendarmerie for discrimination on the grounds of gender and family status. The complaint states that S.B.P is a single mother of a child under the age of seven, that she is an employee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs working as a health professional with the Second Unit of the Gendarmerie, working as a doctor and that she was slated for a transfer to the future Human Resources Department where she would be doing the same job but would be paid twice lower salary, lose the public service official status and extra years of service credit. In addition, the applicant claims to have been told that one of the reasons she was not being sent out to do field work in the Ground Safety Zone was because she was a woman rendering her unsuitable to meet the service criteria. In its explanation the Gendarmerie states that it was true that there was a proposal for S.B.P. to be transferred to the new Department but as a result of her poor performance when compared to other doctors working in the Second Unit i.e. because she had been less productive and functional in comparison with other employees in that particular Unit the reason being that in the last six to seven years she had neither taken part in special security tasks in the Ground Safety Zone nor in other single or multiple day activities outside the seat of the Second Unit and that being a single mother had nothing to do with the decision. In the course of the procedure, it has been ascertained that a new Human Resources Department would be established within the Ministry of Interior in keeping with the reform process and that the Command of Gendarmerie had developed a proposal plan for the redistribution of employees into the new Department where out of 14 staff members proposed for transfer 12 were women, S.B.P. being one of them. In view of the fact that during the complaints procedure the employer had been unable to offer objective and reasonable justification for S.B.P.’s transfer to the future Human Resources Department, the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality issued an opinion stating that by proposing that S.B.P. be transferred from Gendarmerie to a lower grade job position with the Human Resources Department, Gendarmerie ad indeed perpetrated indirect discrimination against the applicant on the grounds of her gender and family status. Therefore, the Commissioner advised the Command of Gendarmerie to take all the necessary measures aimed at eliminating the consequences of discriminatory treatment of its employee S.B.P.
Commissioner for the Protection of Equality