A close relation works for a small Irish company.
The company has 2 sections, one being seen as 'bigger/better' other one within the company.
The relation involved is head of the smaller division. They were sent by the company for further education with a view that they would be put in place as head of the 'bigger' division upon completion.
However, since the relation returned to education, a temporary worker, who is british, was put in place as vice head of the bigger division. This worker has since been made permanent.
In order for the relation to progress to head of the bigger division, they have to spend time training in the position of vice head of the bigger division.
The relation has returned to head of the smaller division because the company have told them that, due to personal tax implications for the british worker if they moved to the smaller division in order to let the relation train in the bigger division, they cannot do it at this time.
(it must be said that the nature of the work and rotas means that the british worker is still UK resident for tax but claims back irish tax paid through PAYE. He would end up paying more tax overall if working in the lower division as the rotas are slightly different)
The relation has been informed that this is the sole reason for the halt in his progression.
My question is, could this be seen as discrimination because the Irish worker cannot progress due to the fact that a UK national will end up paying more personal tax? Effectively the relation cannot progress further because of being Irish?
If the said UK worker was Irish, then there is no issue.
Tax liability is based not on nationality, but on residence. So we're not looking at discrimination on the grounds of nationality here.
As I see it, they have offered (or can offer) the UK bloke a job in the smaller division. He has turned it down (or would turn it down) not because of the job itself, but because it involves a change in tax residency which would be personally disadvantageous to him. That's a reasonable stance for him to take.
The company can offer to up his salary in the new post so that, despite the higher tax liability, he will be no worse off. That's actually quite a common way for companies operating in more than one country to solve problems like this.
If they're not prepared (or not in a position) to do that, I don't see there's much they can do. They can't fire him from the permanetn post he's in because he turned down an unattractive offer of a different post. If they try to force him to move jobs to his own disadvantage, they will inevitably lose in the tribunal hearing which will inevitably follow. And the Irish bloke can't claim he is being discriminated against in not being appointed to a post which isn't vacant.