In order to provide complete functionality, this web site needs your explicit consent to store browser cookies. If you don't allow cookies, you may not be able to use certain features of the web site including but not limited to: log in, buy products, see personalized content, switch between site cultures. It is recommended that you allow all cookies.
 
 
How is our work influencing life in Northern Ireland and delivering equality? Learn more about our policy, legal and research work.
 
 

Fair Employment Monitoring Report

Latest edition (2017)

What you need to know

Monitoring report

What is FE monitoring?

Companies data

 

Monitoring Northern Ireland's Workforce - High level trends over time


The central purpose of employer monitoring information is to allow employers (through their Article 55 reviews) to determine whether members of each community are afforded fair participation in those individual employments, however, there is also interest in considering monitoring figures at the Northern Ireland level.

The Commission’s annual ‘Fair Employment Monitoring report’ has for more than two decades aggregated monitoring information across all monitored employers in Northern Ireland, to produce composition figures (employees, applicants, appointees, promotees, leavers) at the Northern Ireland level and for key sectors.


By doing so, the Monitoring Report: Annual Summary of Monitoring Returns, 2017 (pdf, 1.5mb) seeks to inform employers and interested parties about aggregate compositional patterns that, alongside other information on local labour availability, might suggest a dynamic or pattern that might better inform their own considerations of fair participation within their own or specific employment(s).

 

Key findings

Employment Stocks:
 

  • While members of the Protestant community continue to comprise the majority of the monitored workforce, the Roman Catholic community share continues to increase (by around [0.5 pp] per annum) to [48.9%] in 2017. A gradual upward trend (averaging around [0.6 pp] per annum) in the Roman Catholic share of the monitored workforce has been observed since 2001.

 

  • In 2016, the Roman Catholic community composition of those in monitored employment ceased to approximate estimates of Roman Catholics available for work. The Roman Catholic composition of the monitored workforce was 4.9 percentage points lower than the broad approximation of Roman Catholics available for work. In 2017, the difference had reduced to 2.8 percentage points.


Employment Flows:
 

  • For the ninth consecutive year, the Roman Catholic community [53.1%] comprised a greater proportion of applicants than the Protestant community [46.9%].
 
  • In every year since 2006, members of the Roman Catholic community [53.0%] comprised a greater proportion of appointees than did the Protestant community [47.0%].  In 2017, the Roman Catholic community share decreased by [0.8 pp] marking a discontinuation of the overall trend of increased Roman Catholic appointees observed since 2006. Although, overall their share has increased by [9.0 pp] from [44.8%] in 2001.
 
  • In 2017, the Roman Catholic community [51.0%] comprised a greater proportion of leavers than did the Protestant community [49.0%]. Overall, the Protestant community shares of leavers has decreased by [6.8 pp] from [55.8%] in 2001.
     

See our latest Monitoring Report No.28 >
What is Fair Employment Monitoring?  >
Companies data >

 

Help us to improve the Monitoring Report

We are interested in hearing your views on our report and this web resource, especially which topics and formats are of most interest to you.  We would be grateful if you would complete our short survey

Take survey

 
 

Monitoring Northern Ireland's Workforce


This, the 28th Monitoring Report (pdf, 1.5mb), presents an aggregated summary of the 3,728 valid monitoring returns received during 2017 from 105 public authorities and 3,623 private sector concerns.  These returns were received between 1st January and 31st December 2017.

This year’s report shows the Protestant community share of the monitored workforce was [51.1%] and the Roman Catholic community share was [48.9%].

For ease of navigation the report is broken down into sections with
trend charts below.

1. Monitored Northern Ireland Workforce

Employees

In 2017, the Protestant community continued to comprise the majority of the workforce, with the Roman Catholic community share [48.9%] increasing (by [0.5 pp]).

Applicants, appointees, promotees and leavers
 

  • The Roman Catholic community continued to comprise more than half of applicants [53.1%] and appointees [53.0%].

  • Members of the Roman Catholic community comprised [51.0%] of leavers from the monitored workforce and members of the Protestant community comprised [49.0%] of leavers. Overall, the share of leavers from the Protestant community has decreased by [6.8 pp] from [55.8%] in 2001.
     

Find out more
 

 

2. Private Sector

Private Sector Employees

In 2017, while the Protestant community continued to comprise the majority of the private sector workforce the Roman Catholic community share [48.7%] continued to increase, at a greater rate to that observed in recent years (by [0.5 pp].
 

Applicants, appointees, promotees and leavers
 

  • The Roman Catholic community continued to comprise more than half of applicants [53.0%] and appointees [53.0%].
  • In 2017, the Roman Catholic community and the Protestant community shares of private sector leavers remained relatively unchanged from the previous year.


Find out more

 

 

3. Public Sector

Public Sector Employees

In 2017, while members of the Protestant community [50.7%] continued to comprise the majority of the public sector workforce the Roman Catholic community [49.3%] share continued to increase.

 

Applicants, appointees, promotees and leavers
 

  • For a sixth consecutive year, members of the Roman Catholic community [54.2%] comprised a greater share of applicants than that of members of Protestant community. The Roman Catholic community comprised more than half of all appointees [53.3%].
  • The Protestant community [51.2%] continued to comprise the majority of leavers from the public sector.
     

Find out more

 

 

4. Health Sector

Health Sector Employees

In 2017, the Roman Catholic community share [52.9%] of health sector employment continued to increase, continuing the trend observed since 2011 of a greater share of members of the Roman Catholic community in the health sector.
 

Applicants, appointees, promotees and leavers
 

  • In 2017, the Roman Catholic community continued to comprise a greater share of health sector applicants [57.4%]. The Roman Catholic community share of appointees [55.6%] decreased in 2017, although overall has increased by [5.4 pp] from [50.2%] in 2001.
  • During the period 2008-2017, the shares of leavers from members of the Roman Catholic community and members of the Protestant community fluctuated, and thus no observable trend can be identified by community background.
     

Find out more
 

 

5. Education Sector

Education Sector Employees

In 2017, the Roman Catholic and Protestant community shares of the education sector workforce were [50.9%] and [49.1%] respectively.

Applicants, appointees, promotees and leavers
 

  • Members of the Roman Catholic community continued to account for a greater share of applicants [53.2%] and appointees [51.6%].
  • During the period 2008-2017 the Protestant and Roman Catholic community shares of leavers fluctuated. Typically over this period the Roman Catholic share has been just over [50.0%]; in 2017 the Roman Catholic share was [52.4%]
     

Find out more

 

 

6. District Councils

District Council Employees

In 2017, while members of the Protestant community [54.5%] continued to account for the majority share, the Roman Catholic community share continued to increase [45.5%].

 

Applicants, appointees, promotees and leavers

 

  • Members of the Roman Catholic community comprised the majority of applicants [60.0%]. Between 2001 and 2015, the Roman Catholic share of applicants slowly increased from [41.7%] in 2001 to [46.4%] in 2015. However, in the last two years the Roman Catholic share of applicants has increased fifty percent, with [56.9%] in 2016 and [60.0%] in 2017. For the fourth consecutive year, the majority of appointees [57.9%] were from the Roman Catholic community.
  • As with every year across the period from 2008, members of the Protestant community [53.9%] comprised a greater share of leavers from the monitored workforce.
     

Find out more
 

 

7. Civil Service

Civil Service Employees

In 2017, while members of the Protestant community [52.3%] continued to comprise the majority of the civil service workforce, the Roman Catholic community share [47.7%] continued to increase.


Applicants, appointees, promotees and leavers

 
  • The Roman Catholic community share of applicants [51.8%] increased in 2017. However, the Roman Catholic community share of appointees [35.9%] decreased in 2017. Since 2015, there has been a sharp decrease in the numbers of applicants and appointees to the civil service. The community background shares for applicants and appointees for this period have been very variable. For example, the Roman Catholic share of appointments in 2015 was [50.1%], in 2016 [62.0%] and in 2017 [35.9%].
  • As with every year across the period from 2008, members of the Protestant community [56.0%] comprised a greater share of leavers from the monitored workforce.

 

Find out more
 

 

8. Security-related Sector

Security-related Sector Employees

In 2017, the Protestant community share [73.4%] and the Roman Catholic community share [26.6%] of the security-related workforce increased from the previous year.

 

Applicants, appointees, promotees and leavers

 

  • Members of the Protestant community continued to comprise the majority of security-related sector applicants [54.0%], appointees [76.6%] and leavers [82.3%].


Find out more
 

 

9. 'Other' Public Authorities

'Other' Public Authority Employees

In 2017, members of the Protestant community [51.6%] continued to comprise the majority of the workforce, although the Roman Catholic community share [48.4%] has gradually increased during the period 2008-2017.

 

Applicants, appointees, promotees and leavers

 

  • In 2017, the Roman Catholic community share of applicants was [49.3%].
  • The Protestant community share [45.4%] of appointees increased for the first time since 2013, although members of the Roman Catholic community accounted for more than half [54.6%] of appointees.
  • The Protestant community share [52.8%] of leavers decreased in 2017, and has decreased overall by [11.1 pp] from [63.9%] in 2001.

 

Find out more

 

 
 

< NI Workforce - High Level Trends Over Time What is Fair Employment Monitoring? >
 Companies data >

> Previous monitoring reports

2016 (Monitoring report No.27)


2015 (Monitoring report No.26)


2013 (Monitoring report No.24)

 

2011 (Monitoring report No.22)

 

2009 (Monitoring report No.20)

 

2007 (Monitoring report No.18)


2005 (Monitoring report No. 16)


2003 (Monitoring report No.14)

 

2001 (Monitoring report No.12)

2014 (Monitoring report No.25)


2012 (Monitoring report No.23)

2010 (Monitoring report No.21)


2008 (Monitoring report No.19)


2006 (Monitoring report No.17)


2004 (Monitoring report No.15)


2002 (Monitoring report No.13)







 


 

 

 

 
 

What is Fair Employment Monitoring?


The following downloads may be of help in assisting the reader in understanding the information presented in this report including the range of definitions and methodological points to be considered when interpreting the data, and in the wider concepts associated with fair employment.

What is 'Fair Employment' Monitoring?

Under Fair Employment legislation, employers in Northern Ireland must review their own workforce composition once every three years to assess ‘fair participation’ between the Protestant and Roman Catholic communities and where there is an under-representation, take appropriate affirmative action. 



To do this they are required to collect workforce monitoring information on an ongoing basis, and to use that information in their considerations.

Find out more:
 

 

What is the Fair Employment Monitoring Report?

A summary of the monitoring data collected by employers is also submitted to the Commission each year. The Commission has to date used this information to publish an Annual Summary of Fair Employment Monitoring Returns. 



The report provides an overview of high level patterns in the aggregate composition of monitored employment and in key sectors, public and private. It also provides details on key sub sectors and, via annexes, specific employers. The information, along with supporting technical tables is also available via this website.

Find out more:
 

 

FAQ: Key Definitions and concepts in Fair Employment

A consideration of fair employment relies on a number of key definitions and concepts, including:
 
  • the ‘community’ focus of monitoring and the meaning of terms such as fair participation; affirmative action; under-representation, catchment area and chill factor

  • those organisations subject to monitoring

  • the aspects of employment that are monitored (employees, applicants, promotees, leavers) and changes in the coverage of monitoring over time


Find out more:
 

 

The Fair Employment Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order 1998

The Fair Employment Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order 1998, prohibits employers from discriminating against or harassing job applicants and employees on the grounds of religious or similar philosophical belief or political opinion.

In addition to prohibiting discrimination, the Order imposes a number of extra duties on certain employers:
 
  • to register with the Equality Commission

  • to monitor the community background and sex of the workforce

  • to submit annual monitoring returns to ECNI

  • to conduct triennial reviews of the composition of the workforce and of employment practices (i.e. “Article 55 Reviews”)

  • to take affirmative action, where it is reasonable and appropriate to do so.


Find out more:
 

 
 



Additional information:

Trends in Community Proportions of Applications & Appointments to the Private & Public Sectors

Analysis of Fair Employment Monitoring Report Data 1991-2010
This paper considers key trends in applications and appointments (across all monitored employers in Northern Ireland) by community background over time.  Data is summed from that presented annually in the published monitoring reports to consider trends across the public and private sectors, and in key sub-areas of the public sector (for two discrete periods 1991-2000 and 2001-2012 in total; and also individual year-on-year data).

Although there are limitations in the data, the analysis indicates that community proportions of appointments approximate the community proportions of applications for each period, though with the total Protestant proportion of appointments lower than applications.  There are however some important differences overall and in year-on-year trends.

Find out more:
 

 

Community composition of the NI workforce as a whole

Community composition of the Northern Ireland workforce as a whole (including the non-monitored workforce):
An analysis of Labour Force Survey data (Dec 2010)

The Commission wished to improve knowledge and understanding of the community composition of the Northern Ireland workforce as a whole, including those sections of the workforce not covered by the FETO monitoring regulations.

An analysis of the Labour Force Survey (2001-2008) suggested that the estimated Protestant and Roman Catholic shares of the monitored workforce were similar (allowing for sampling error) to their respective shares of the non-monitored workforce.  Further, the estimated community compositions of the two largest sub-groupings (‘the self-employed’ and ‘employers with 10 or less employees’) broadly mirror the pattern observed in the non-monitored as a whole with the two smaller groupings (the Clergy and Teachers) having estimated community compositions further from the figure for the non-monitored workforce as a whole.

Find out more:
 

 
 
Companies data

Company data received from the valid monitoring returns received during 2017, from 105 public authorities and 2,310 private sector concerns which had 26 or more employees is available to download. There were 19 public authorities and 1,243 private sector concerns which had 25 or less employees, and these are not detailed here.

1. Composition of Individual Specified Authorities (26+ employees)

This deals with employees of the 105 public authorities and the community background of the total workforce in each concern, including part-time staff, from the 2017 monitoring returns:
 
 

2. Composition of Private Sector Concerns (26+ employees)

This deals with employees in those 2,310 private sector concerns with 26 or more employees. The community background of the total workforce in each concern, including part-time staff, from the 2017 monitoring returns:
 
 

3. Composition of Appointees to Individual Specified Authorities (26+ employees)

This lists the composition of appointees to those 86 public bodies with 26 or more employees. The total number of appointees to each body is given from the 2017 monitoring returns:
 

 

4. Composition of Appointees to Private Sector Concerns (251+ employees)

This provides information on appointees to the private sector in the same format that was used for the public sector in Section 3:
 

 

5. Interpretation of Company Data

The Commission recommends that care should be exercised in the interpretation of the information contained in relation to companies. In particular, composition does not have to reflect the overall composition of both communities at the NI level.
 

 
 


< What is Fair Employment monitoring?
Monitoring Report - Workforce sector data
< NI Workforce - High level trends over time
 
Print All