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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.


What you need to know

How we can help



All registered employers must monitor the composition of their workforce. This means keeping a record of your staff’s community background and sex.

What does Community background mean?

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.


How should this be recorded?

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.


What should be monitored?

As a registered employer you are required to monitor your:
  • employees
  • job applicants
  • appointees
  • apprentices.


If you have more than 250 employees you are also required to monitor:

  • promotees
  • leavers.


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.


Where should I send my completed form?

The Compliance Manager
Advice & Compliance Division
Equality Commission for Northern Ireland
Equality House
7–9 Shaftesbury Square
Belfast   BT2 7DP

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 employers' needs differ across sectors and businesses – so we tailor our services to meet employers’ varying needs.

We run workshops each month on how to monitor staff and can meet with you individually if this more helpful.


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
   •  Harassment at work
   •  Pregnancy, maternity and flexible working
   •  Mental ill-health at work
   •  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 contact us Tel: 028 90 500 600, email


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, contact Frances Nugent, email  Tel: 028 90 500600.

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  Tel: 028 90 500600.

Employer news eZine

To receive updates on our training seminars, events and employer equality networks sign up to receive our Public Authorities Newsletter using the subscribe button at the bottom of the page.



OFMdFM publication for Public Authorities:

Additional information is available on our registration and monitoring webpage

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