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Fair Employment (Northern Ireland) Act 1976

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

24Investigation of complaint of unlawful discrimination

(1)Subject to the provisions of this section, where a person makes a complaint in writing to the Agency alleging that unlawful discrimination has been committed against him by another person (" the respondent "), the Agency shall investigate the complaint (unless it considers that the complaint is frivolous).

(2)Where a person against whom unlawful discrimination is alleged to have been committed has died or is for any reason unable to act for himself, the complaint may be made by his personal representative or by a member of his family or other individual suitable to represent him ; and where a person who has made or continued a complaint dies or becomes unable to act, the complaint may be continued by the personal representative, or a member of the family, of the person against whom the discrimination is alleged to have been committed, or by such other individual as aforesaid.

(3)A complaint must be made before the expiration of—

(a)two months from the day on which the complainant first had knowledge, or might reasonably be expected first to have had knowledge, of the act complained of; or

(b)six months from the day on which the act was done, whichever first occurs; but the Agency may, if it thinks fit,

investigate a complaint made after the expiration of that period, if of the opinion that there are special circumstances which make it proper to do so.

(4)For the purposes of this section—

(a)where the inclusion of any term in a contract renders the making of the contract an unlawful act, that act shall be treated as extending throughout the duration of the contract, and

(b)any act extending over a period shall be treated as done at the end of that period, and

(c)a deliberate omission shall be treated as done when the person in question does an act inconsistent with doing the omitted act or, if he has done no such inconsistent act, when the period expires within which he might reasonably have been expected to do the omitted act if it were to be done.

(5)The Agency shall not consider a complaint relating to an act which is unlawful by virtue of section 23, if the act is one in respect of which an appeal, or proceedings in the nature of an appeal, may be brought to a court under any enactment.

(6)Without prejudice to subsection (5), where the Agency is satisfied that the subject-matter of a complaint has been or is being considered by some other statutory body or by a person holding a statutory office, the Agency shall not be obliged to investigate the complaint; but it may do so, after consultation with that other body or person, if it thinks fit.

(7)Schedule 5 shall have effect with respect to the conduct of investigations under this section.

(8)Where the Agency is of the opinion that, by virtue of any provision of Part V, it is precluded from investigating, or continuing the investigation, of a complaint, the Agency shall serve on the complainant and the respondent a notice stating the opinion.

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