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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.

Fair Employment

Law reform
Law reform

What you need to know


Fair Employment Law Reform

The Equality Act 2010 has simplified and harmonised equality legislation in Great Britain and we are calling for the NI Assembly to make urgent changes to current equality legislation.

Read our recommendations to changes to the Fair Employment and Treatment (NI) Order 1998:


Extend workforce monitoring to include grounds of nationality and ethnic origin

We recommend the extension of workforce monitoring, under the fair employment legislation, to include grounds of nationality and ethnic origin.  Our Statement on Key Inequalities in Northern Ireland (pdf, 2007) acknowledged that migration has resulted in a major change to the composition of the workforce of Northern Ireland.

We believe that workforce monitoring should play a major part in establishing patterns of employment across sectors and assist employers in assessing the impact of their employment practices and procedures on particular ethnic minority groups in the workplace.

Read more about our:

Remove the exception of recruitment of teachers on the ground of religious belief
Remove the exception of recruitment of teachers in secondary level schools on the ground of religious belief.  Currently schools can lawfully discriminate in the initial recruitment, appointment and promotion of teachers.  We believe that all teachers should have the same protection in the recruitment process as other workers.

We are also seeking early consideration to the removal of the recruitment exemption for teachers at primary level schools.

The removal of the teachers’ exception is recommended in our current proposals for legislative reform (pdf - see Proposal 6) and has been raised with Junior Ministers and the OFMDFM Assembly Committee.

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