Equality ruling impacts contracts translation requirements

Equality Ruling on Goode Concrete

Through an equality ruling on the 20th of May 2008, a labour court ruling has potentially far-reaching implications for employers of foreign workers in Ireland today.

Goode Concrete based in Dublin, Ireland was ordered by the Equality Tribunal to pay 290K to 58 members of staff based on the fact they did not have work contracts translated.

The tribunal stated that the company should have explained to workers their terms and conditions on employment in a language that was understandable to them.

The key elements of the decision were based on the fact that “their terms and conditions of employment and safety documentation were not set out in a language which was understandable to them” and that “there was no evidence that these terms and conditions of employment were explained to each of them by a person speaking a language they understood.”

With the SME employing 330,00 foreign nationals in Ireland, this ruling has significant impact on employers here.

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UK: 800,000 Children English not first Language

UK flag, English not first language for 800K children
Union Jack flag / Stock photo

English not first language for 800K in UK

Official reports in the UK show that more than 800,000 schoolchildren do not speak English as their first language.

According to figures published by the Department for Children, Schools and Families in May, some 14.4pc of children aged between 5 and 11 years of age speak languages other than English at home. This figure is on the increase: almost 10pc higher than last year.

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Source: The Telegraph (UK)

UK Police spend £2,700 an hour on translators

£2,700 an hour on translators

A recent poll conducted by the Conservative Party in the UK revealed that the UK police forces spent almost £2,700 an hour on translators in 2007.

This was spent on translation and interpreting between witnesses and suspects.

A total bill of £24 million for translation in 2006/07 was returned.

This was up 64pc from the 2004 figure of £14 million.

The data and figures were gathered by the Conservatives as part of a Freedom of Information request to forces in England and Wales.

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Employment Equality Act 1998, 2004


The Employment Equality Act 1998, 2004 sets out the legal entitlements for fair treatment to all workers in Ireland.

  • The Employment Equality Act 1998 came into force on the 18th of October 1999, and was amended on the 25th October 2004 to the Equality Act 2004
  • The Employment Equality Acts 1998 and 2004 deal with discrimination within employment
  • The Acts deal with discrimination related to any of the following nine grounds:
    • gender
    • marital status
    • family status
    • age
    • race
    • religion
    • disability
    • sexual orientation
    • membership of the Traveller community
  • Most employment issues are dealt with by the Acts including: dismissal, equal pay, harassment and sexual harassment, working conditions, promotion, access to employment etc. However, all disputes must relate to one or more of the nine grounds listed in the previous point (for example, gender)

The Act is available for download in multiple languages from the Equality Authority website.

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European Health Insurance Card

european health insurance card

Travelling in Europe?

You should apply for your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This is an important card to protect you when travelling abroad. It’s free and takes just under 10 days to arrive to your home address.

Irish citizens can apply online through the HSE

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Polish Community Resources

Polish Community Resources

According to unofficial statistics there are almost 300,000 Polish people in Ireland. This year a large number of them will be able to vote in Ireland.
If you have recently moved to Ireland, then here are some useful Polish resources for you:

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Emergency Numbers

Phone numbers for emergency services in major European countries differ from country to country. For safety, you should always check your destination’s emergency information before you travel.

112 is the generic number to call emergency services anywhere in the European Union.

Emergency numbers

Country Police Ambulance Fire Brigade
Andorra 110 118 118
Austria 133 144 122
Belgium 101 100 100
France 17 15 18
Italy 113 118 115
Switzerland 117 144 118

Free Community Interpreters Training: Galway

Interpreting Situations of Sexual Violence

A two-day training programme for Community Interpreters
Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st of February 2008 from 09:30 to 16:30


Hotel Meyrick, Eyre Square, Galway

The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre is developing a training programme for community interpreters to equip them to interpret for people who have experienced sexual violence, for example in situations such as with the Gardai, going through medical/forensic examinations, the legal system and counselling.

The approach is participative and will include lecture, group discussion, video footage, role play, case study.

A Certificate of Attendance will be provided to participants who complete the two day programme.

For further information contact Leonie O’Dowd, Jane Baird or Maria O’Loughlin at (01) 661 4911.

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Fianna Fáil Seeks Polish Members

Fianna Fáil asks Polish members to join party

Fianna Fáil recently launched their own Polish pages to invite members to join their party.

It shows a very interesting trend in Ireland and the depth of Polish nationals within the country.

The Fianna Fáil party’s Polish web pages.

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What is the best font to use on my site?

Trying to decide what the best font and style to use on your next international site can be tricky. Especially when you are trying to see if your foreign character sets will be ok.

A great site to visit that allows you to try various styles/fonts and sizes is the typetester site from Maratz. http://typetester.maratz.com/

Select the best font to use on your website!