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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.

News and events

for employers and service providers

What you need to know

News and events for employers and service providers

Supporting employees affected by cancer

Supporting Employees affected by CancerThe Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (as amended) states that people who are diagnosed with cancer are deemed to be disabled from the point of diagnosis rather than from the point when the condition has some adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

Good practice stepsUnder the law, employees with cancer cannot be treated less favourably than other staff - this could be deemed discrimination. This includes during recruitment processes, employee terms and conditions, benefits, and opportunities for promotion and training.

We have produced a short guide in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support to assist employers in supporting employees affected by cancer.
Further information for employers:

Guidance on the right to request flexible working

Flexible Working GuidanceThe Equality Commission has updated it's guidance for employers on Flexible Working. The guidance covers:
  • 6 steps to getting started
  • The importance of taking flexible working seriously
  • The "do's and don'ts" when considering requests
  • Disabled employees and flexible working

Since April 2015, the right to request flexible working is open to all employees with 26 weeks continuous employment service with their employers. Employees do not need to show that they are a carer of a child or disabled person and desire an adjustment to their working arrangements to deal with those caring needs. Flexible working requests may be made for any reason.

Download our guidance in full:

Guidance for employers on pregnancy and maternity at work

Expecting Equality - Formal InvestigationThe Equality Commission conducted a investigation into the employment experiences of pregnant women and mothers, on maternity leave and on their return to work. Almost 1,000 women across Northern Ireland responded to our online survey sharing their experiences through focus group discussions and interviews.

Following the investigation the Commission produced new guidance for employers on pregnancy and maternity in the workplace. The guidance can also be downloaded as a pdf publication:

Training for employers: April - June 2019

ETP logoThe Equality Commission's Advisory Services Team is running a number of training sessions for employers and service providers. The sessions cover some of the most common enquiries received by the Commission each year, and will help keep employers on the right side of the law.

Equality training topics include:


If you have any questions about the training, email or Tel: 028 90 500 650.


Every Customer Counts: promoting accessible services - Sign up now

Every customer counts logoAll businesses and public authorities have a legal duty to take reasonable steps to ensure that disabled people can access their services.

Signing up to the 'Every Customer Counts' initiative allows service providers to work through a 4 step process designed to help them meet this requirement:

Step 1 - Develop a Service Provision Policy

Step 2 - Conduct an Audit of Services

Step 3 - Agree an Accessible Business Action Plan

You can also sign up to the Every Customer Counts Commitment

Helpful resources are available in the form of a self audit tool, an action plan template, good practice guides, and template customer service statement and policy template.  Read more about Every Customer Counts>


Mental Health Charter

Mental Health Charter logoThe Equality Commission has launched a Mental Health Charter which provides a framework for working towards mentally healthy workplaces.

The Charter, jointly produced by the Equality Commission, Action Mental Health, Disability Action, MindWise, Mental Health Foundation and Niamh, provides a framework for working towards mentally healthy workplaces. Those who sign up to the Charter will undertake to promote good mental health which will be beneficial to their business, employees and the whole community in Northern Ireland.

The Equality Commission can provide those who sign up with free information and training resources to help them meet their Charter commitments.


Employment equality law update

Employment Equality Law UpdateThe Equality Commission produced a joint newsletter with the Labour Relations Agency (LRA) to help keep businesses in Northern Ireland up-to-date with employment and equality law.

In this edition:

This edition covers:
It also includes 'employment law hot topics':

Download as a pdf publication: Employment equality law update - April 2016 (pdf, 2.46mb)

Improving the gender balance in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM)

STEM Charter for Business logoThe Equality Commission is working to address gender imbalance in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) businesses in Northern Ireland.

If you are a STEM business (employer or training provider) or offer STEM jobs and would like to demonstrate your commitment to gender equality, you can sign up to our charter and join our network.  Read more about the STEM Charter>

Follow us on Linked In

LinkedIn logoThe Equality Commission is now on the professional social networking site Linked in. The Commission's Advisory Services Team will be posting helpful tips and advice for employers and service providers along with information about upcoming events and training sessions.

Don't miss out, follow us now!
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