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28th Fair Employment Monitoring Report Published

28th Fair Employment Monitoring Report Published
Fair employment monitoring returns for 2017.


The Equality Commission has published the 28th Annual Monitoring Report which shows the breakdown, by community background, of the monitored workforce in Northern Ireland.

The monitored workforce consists of an estimated 66 - 68% of those in employment.  Those not monitored include people working in private sector concerns with 10 or less employees, the self-employed, people on government training schemes and school teachers.

The total monitored workforce in 2017 was 540,897, an increase of 6,395 (1.19%) from the previous year.  Of that total, 250,850 (46.4 %) was Protestant; 240,275 (44.4%) Roman Catholic, and 59,772 (9.2%) non-determined.

Women, at 51.9%, continue to account for more than half of all monitored employees in Northern Ireland; a situation which has remained relatively unchanged between 2015 and 2017. The number of women exceed the number of men within both the Roman Catholic (24.0%) and the Protestant (23.8%) monitored workforces, though not among non-determined employees (4.2%).

“This year’s Report, based on 3,728 valid monitoring returns which the Commission received from employers during 2017, shows that, when we consider only employees from Roman Catholic and Protestant community backgrounds, 51.1% of the workforce was Protestant and 48.9% was Roman Catholic,” Dr Michael Wardlow, Chief Commissioner of the Equality Commission said. “On the same basis, Roman Catholics comprised more than half of job applicants in 2017, at 53.1%, and appointees, at 53.0%.”

“This continues a broad trend of increasing Roman Catholic applicants and appointees to the monitored workforce which has been evident during the period 2001-2017,” he said. “In addition, the Roman Catholic share of the monitored workforce has shown a gradual upward trend of approximately 0.5 percentage points per year since 2001 and this has continued in 2017.”

“The Fair Employment Legislation introduced monitoring to make sure that all those working to promote and secure equality of opportunity and fair participation in the workforce, for members of the Protestant and Catholic communities in Northern Ireland, had access to necessary data,” Dr Wardlow said. “The contribution employers have made in that regard over the past decades has been important in the development of greater diversity and in forming and improving good relations within our workplaces.”


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