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Want to stay on the right side of the law? We support businesses and public authorities and help them to promote good practice.
 
 

Article 55 Review

What you need to know

How we can help

Publications

 

What is an ‘Article 55’ review?

This is a review of the composition of your workforce and of your employment practices. All registered employers must conduct a review at least once every three years.

 

The purpose of an Article 55 Review is to:

 

  • determine whether members of the Protestant and Roman Catholic communities are enjoying, and are likely to continue to enjoy, fair participation in employment
  • take affirmative action if fair participation is not being secured by members of the Protestant and Catholic communities
  • set goals and timetables as part of affirmative action
  • take account of the guidance in the Fair Employment Code of Practice (pdf)

How do I complete an Article 55 Review?

Your review should be conducted in a formal manner resulting in a written report. However, the precise way in which you carry out your review will depend on your own individual circumstances.

 

To assist you the Commission will provide you with a review booklet to complete. The booklet includes a number of sections to assist you in reviewing your employment patterns, trends and practices and to reach your own conclusions on fair participation, affirmative action and goals and timetables. It also takes account of the Fair Employment Code of Practice. These form the core components of your Article 55 Review and, if fully and accurately completed, will be accepted by us as your formal Article 55 Review report.


Download the relevant booklet for your business/organization:
 


Also see our Employer's Guide to Completing an Article 55 Review (pdf)

 

When should I complete an Article 55 Review?

This depends when you first registered with the Commission. When a review is due, the Commission will send you the review booklet together with guidance on how to complete it. This will also set out the prescribed period for completing the review.

 

When carrying out your Article 55 Review you must also consider whether it is practical to set goals and timetables for the progress towards fair participation that can reasonably be expected to be made by the underrepresented community concerned.

 

When should the Article 55 Review report be returned?

There is no requirement to submit your Article 55 Review report to the Commission by a specific date. However we may request that you return it to us to ensure that you are complying with your legal obligation to undertake it. We therefore recommend that you complete your review when required and return it to us as a hard copy when requested to do so.
 

How do I assess fair participation?

The primary purpose of an Article 55 Review is to enable you to determine whether you are providing, or are likely to continue to provide, fair participation in employment to members of the Protestant and Roman Catholic communities. A determination of what is fair depends on the circumstances of each particular case.

 

This means you should be working continuously, as an integral part of your personnel and management functions to ensure that equality of opportunity in your employment is offered to members of the Protestant and Catholic communities. If not, you should make sustained efforts to promote it through affirmative action measures and, if appropriate, the setting of goals and timetables.

 

It does not mean that every job, occupation or position in every undertaking throughout Northern Ireland must reflect the proportionate distribution of Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland.

Indicators that fair participation may is not being provided include:
 

  • the numbers of applications for employment from members of a particular community are regularly lower than expected, especially when compared to the community background composition of the available workforce in the local area;
  • success rates for job applicants from one community are regularly lower than the success rates enjoyed by job applicants from the other.

If you have also collected monitoring data on the racial groups on your job applicants and employees, you should analyse this information to ensure that the Article 55 Review reaches valid conclusions about the provision of fair participation in your workforce and whether there is a need to take affirmative action

 

Goals & Timetables

When carrying out your Article 55 Review you must also consider whether it is practical to set goals and timetables for the progress towards fair participation that can reasonably be expected to be made by the underrepresented community concerned.

 

Goals and timetables are also a means of measuring any changes that occur as a result of the affirmative action that is taken. If it is practical to set such goals and timetables, then you must do so.

 
 

  • The Commission runs Article 55 Review workshops and can meet with you individually if this more helpful - Tel: 02890 890888


 

Annual monitoring return
< Registration, monitoring & review

 

 

We believe that helping you promote and encourage good equal opportunities practice is as important as enforcing the equality law. Every year, the Commission helps hundreds of businesses and organisations comply with equality laws.

We recognise that employer needs differ across sectors and businesses – so we tailor our services to meet employers’ varying needs.
 

  • The Commission runs Article 55 Review workshops and can meet with you individually if this more helpful - email: edenquiries@equalityni.org or Tel: 02890 890888

Training

We provide high quality training seminars and information sessions to employers on a wide range of equality issues.

These events provide advice and guidance on employers’ duties under current equality laws and on introducing best practice. We recommend that employers carefully consider their needs and choose the seminars and sessions which are of most benefit to them.

 

    Training sessions include:


   •  Introduction to understanding equality
   •  Equality training for line managers
   •  Recruiting fairly
   •  Bullying and harassment at work
   •  Pregnancy, maternity and flexible working
   •  Absence and performance management
   •  Promoting disability in the workplace 
   •  Reasonable steps defence
   •  How to complete an Article 55 Review
   •  Monitoring form workshops

 

 

 


 

 

 











We are flexible in terms of themes covered and can tailor courses to suit employers’ business needs. Further details are available on our employer training page or email edtraining@equalityni.org - Tel: 02890 500560

 

In-house training

On occasion, the Commission can provide in-house training for organisations.  Where the Commission agrees to such a request, we will normally deliver one session to key staff within the organisation and assist them to disseminate the training internally. For in-house training requests email edtraining@equalityni.org or Tel: 028 90 500560.
 

Speaking engagments

If you are organising an equality related event, Commission staff can share their expertise to highlight relevant issues in equality law that relate to your business priorities. For further information, contact Paul Oakes poakes@equalityni.org  Tel: 028 90 500600.
 

Employer news eZine

To receive updates on our training seminars, events and employer equality networks sign up to receive our Employer & Service Providers' Newsletter using the subscribe button at the bottom of the page.

 
 

 
Article 55 Review publications:

 

Download the relevant booklet for your business/organization:
 

  • Article 55 Report structure for small organisations (50 employees or less)pdf (1mb) word doc (1.4mb)

  • Article 55 Report structure for large organisations (51 employees or more) - pdf (1.1mb) word doc (3.2mb)

 

 

 
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