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The teachers' exception

What you need to know


The Teachers' Exception from Fair Employment Laws

Teachers' Exception from Fair Employment LawsI teach chemistry up to A level and I love it. But as the law stands in Northern Ireland, although I can apply for jobs at any school here, I feel that I don’t always stand a fair chance of being appointed - because of my religion. But I teach science – I don’t see why religion should have anything to do with the appointment of a science teacher.

School interview panels can lawfully choose between candidates for teaching posts solely on the basis of religion, without the risk that any other employer would face of being challenged in the Fair Employment Tribunal. I don’t think principals want to employ teachers just on that basis, but it’s a panel decision and it just seems it’s not always the best person who gets the job.

It would put me off applying for a post in a different sector than the one I was educated in, it’s a chill factor.

The Fair Employment law protects practically every other job seeker in Northern Ireland against religious discrimination – it just doesn’t apply to the recruitment of school teachers.

I can’t challenge a decision where I don’t get a job and somebody possibly less experienced and qualified than me gets it, just because of their religion. It’s time for the teachers’ exception from the Fair Employment law to end.

Help me with this. Make equality a priority. It’s time all teachers had the protection of the fair employment laws.


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