Conclusions and next steps
In conclusion, it is clear that there is a robust case for addressing significant gaps and weaknesses within the race equality legislation in Northern Ireland. We believe that our recommended changes to the race equality and fair employment legislation in Northern Ireland will strengthen the rights of individuals against racial discrimination and harassment and ensure a more comprehensive, harmonised and consistent legislative framework.
We welcome the Northern Ireland Executive’s commitment to bring forward a revised Racial Equality Strategy. We recommend, in light of the clear need for reform of the race equality legislation in Northern Ireland, that there is a clear commitment in the revised Racial Equality Strategy to address legislative gaps in the race equality legislation so that individuals in Northern Ireland have effective protection against racial discrimination and harassment.
We further recommend steps are taken to amend the fair employment legislation in order to require registered employers in Northern Ireland, in addition to monitoring the community background and sex of their employees and job applicants, to collect monitoring information as regards nationality and ethnic origin.
As highlighted earlier, as many of the gaps and inconsistencies that exist in the race equality legislation equally exist under other areas of equality law, we recommend action to address similar legislative gaps in other areas of equality law in order to ensure a consistent and best practice approach is adopted across the equality legislative framework.
We have taken a number of proactive steps in order to raise awareness of our recommendations for reform of the race equality and fair employment legislation, and to secure support for the recommended changes.
In addition, we have, and will continue to, proactively engage with a wide range of key stakeholders, including MLAs, Assembly Committees, and representatives from the race sector.