This is whether an individual is from the Protestant community or the Roman Catholic community in Northern Ireland, or neither.
Although not a legal requirement, we also recommend monitoring by age, disability, race, marital status, civil partnership status, sexual orientation, and those with and without dependents. Monitoring these additional grounds is good practice and a good way of getting a clear picture of what is happening in your organisation. It can identify patterns that you might not otherwise notice, and ensure that unintentional discrimination is not taking place.
The best method for recording this information is to use an equal opportunities monitoring form questionnaire that directly asks individuals to specify which areas apply to them.
We recommend one of the following:
These forms will enable you to comply with your duties under Fair Employment legislation.
As a registered employer you are required to monitor your:
If you have more than 250 employees you are also required to monitor:
Although private, voluntary and community sector employers who employ fewer than 250 employees are not obliged by the Fair Employment legislation to monitor their promotees and leavers, we recommend that all employers should monitor these categories anyway.
It is good practice for employers to monitor and review all their employment practices, including those that have an impact on employees’ opportunities for promotion, and those which cause or contribute to the termination of employees’ contracts of employment. Consequently, it is also good practice to monitor other activities too, such as employees who apply for and obtain training opportunities; employees who are subjected to disciplinary procedures; employees who lodge grievances or complaints.
This depends on the information that you have collected. There is one thing that you must do and another that you might do. These are:
Information on community background and sex
If you are a registered employer, you must use the information that you collected on these two categories to prepare your annual monitoring return
to the Equality Commission.
Information on any other equality category (like racial group, disability, sexual orientation)
You do not have to submit an annual report to the Equality Commission about this information, but as you collected it for the purposes of promoting equal opportunities then you must use it for that purpose. Further information about how you can do that can be found in the part of website that discusses integrated equality plans.
Are you concerned the processing of monitoring information may be a breach of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which came into force on 25 May 2018?
1 Article 6 (1) (c) of GDPR
Processing monitoring information is done to comply with the Fair Employment legislation1 and the consent of individual applicants or employees is not required. Employers are obliged to keep written information relating to monitoring for a period of 3-years after the application is made or 3-years after an employee leaves employment, whichever is longer.
The Commission’s Step by Step Guide sets out the information that registered employers are required to process including a copy of the monitoring questionnaire. A free copy of the Step by Step Guide is available online (pdf) or email email@example.com for a hard copy publication.
The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) can provide further information on the GDPR and has an online checklist for employers
states that that in relation to the processing of personal data consent is not required from an individual where the processing is in order to comply with a legal obligation.
Article 52 of the Fair Employment and Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order 1998
requires registered employers to prepare for each year and serve on the Commission a monitoring return which contains such information about the employees of the employer and those applying for employment in the concern as may be prescribed in the Regulations.
The Fair Employment (Monitoring) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999
set out in Schedule 1 the prescribed information. Regulation 17
obliges an employer to keep written information relating to monitoring for a period of 3 years after an employee leaves employment. Regulation 18
relates to applicant monitoring information and obliges the employer to retain that information for a period of 3 years after the application is made