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How is our work influencing life in Northern Ireland and delivering equality? Learn more about our policy, legal and research work.

Related work

Health & social care

What you need to know

How we can help

Related links


Autism guide for employers
Employing people with autism – a brief guide for employers

People with autism have much to offer the world of work, and can benefit greatly from it. It is essential that they are provided with the support and reasonable adjustments necessary to enable them to realise their full potential.


We have produced a brief guide (pdf) for employers and employees across Northern Ireland which aims to encourage more employment for people with autism.

Caring in Northern Ireland publication
A Picture of Caring

A Picture of Caring (pdf), produced in partnership with Carers Northern Ireland, tells the stories of eight inspiring individuals. Each highlights the significant issues that affect the life experiences of carers which are over and above their own day-to-day responsibilities.


Transgender - health & social care

During our engagement with the trans sector in 2013 trans people highlighted negative experiences when accessing health and social care services. A report by the Institute for Conflict Research, “Healthcare Issues for Transgender People Living in Northern Ireland” reinforces that these experiences are often discriminatory and that service delivery falls short. 

Key issues for trans people when accessing healthcare services include a lack of knowledge on the part of professionals, the use of inappropriate pronouns or former names and the offer of inappropriate services or the refusal of services. A joint guide by GIRES, the Gender Identity Research and Education Society, and UNISON, the public sector trade union aims to help health care staff provide trans people with the respectful and appropriate care they are entitled to.


This video by Youthnet helps to explain some of the barriers young trans people and their parents face when accessing health care services.

We will be commissioning new research to update our key inequalities statement in relation to health and social care which will inform policy in this area.



Legal cases

Every year we see a small but steady number of cases against health and social care providers in the public and private sectors, both as employers and as suppliers of care services. Some recent cases are as follows:

We publish outlines of cases resolved each year in legal cases archive on section of the website.


Experience of age discrimination

We are keen to hear from you if you are an older person and believe that you have been treated unfairly because of your age when accessing goods and services.

The Northern Ireland Executive is considering introducing new legislation that will give greater protection for older people against discrimination when accessing goods and services.

Your experiences will help illustrate the impact that this proposed new legislation will have on the lives of older people in Northern Ireland.

Further information
If you would like to discuss your experiences of age discrimination in confidence, please contact:

Roisin Mallon telephone: 028 90 500 551, email:



Links to other organisations working in this area

  • Health and Care Board - makes the high level decision about the overall provision of health and social care services in Northern Ireland, in particular the allocation of funding.

Health and social care trusts directly provide health and care services to patients and clients. Trust services can include hospitals, home helps, carers, transport services, district nursing, mental health services, learning disability services, speech and language services, social work, occupational therapy, maternity services and residential homes.

GPs and dentists’ surgeries are not controlled by trusts – speak to the practice manager.


Your rights


Inspection and regulation


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