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How is our work influencing life in Northern Ireland and delivering equality? Learn more about our policy, legal and research work.
 
 

Fair Employment Monitoring Report

Latest edition (2022)

Monitoring Northern Ireland's Workforce 2022 - High level trends over time


The central purpose of employer monitoring information is to allow employers (through their Article 55 reviews) to determine whether members of each community are afforded fair participation in those individual employments, however, there is also interest in considering monitoring figures at the Northern Ireland level.

The Commission’s annual ‘Fair Employment Monitoring Report’ has for more than three decades aggregated monitoring information across all monitored employers in Northern Ireland, to produce composition figures (employees, applicants, appointees, promotees, leavers) at the Northern Ireland level and for key sectors.

By doing so, the
 report seeks to inform employers and interested parties about aggregate compositional patterns that, alongside other information on local labour availability, might suggest a dynamic or pattern that might better inform their own considerations of fair participation within their own or specific employment(s).

This, the 33rd Annual Monitoring Report, presents an aggregated summary of the 3,807 valid monitoring returns received during 2022 from 105 public authorities and 3,702 private sector concerns.  These returns were mostly received between 1st January and 31st December 2022.

This year’s report shows, for the first time since monitoring began, the share of the total monitored workforce from members of the Roman Catholic community was [50.1%] and was greater than from members of the Protestant community [49.9%].

 
 

Key findings
 

Employment Stocks:

In 2022, for the first time since monitoring began the share of the total monitored workforce from members of the Roman Catholic community [50.1%] was greater than the share of members from the Protestant community [49.9%].

In 2022, the Roman Catholic community composition of the monitored workforce was 3.6 pp lower than the broad approximation of Roman Catholics available for work. This represents an increase of 2.5 pp from 2021 when it was 1.1 pp lower. The Roman Catholic community composition of the monitored workforce has ceased to approximate estimates of those available for work as taken from the Labour Force Survey.

 

 

Employment Flows

For the fourteenth consecutive year, the Roman Catholic community [52.3%] comprised a greater proportion of applicants than the Protestant community [47.7%].

In every year since 2006, members of the Roman Catholic community [52.5%] comprised a greater proportion of appointees than did the Protestant community [47.5%].  In 2022, the Roman Catholic community share decreased by 0.2 percentage points from the previous year. Overall, their share has increased by [7.7 pp] from [44.8%] in 2001.

In 2022, the Roman Catholic community [51.9%] comprised a greater proportion of leavers than did the Protestant community [48.2%].  Overall, the Protestant community share of leavers has decreased by [7.7 pp] from [55.8%] in 2001.

 


Standard Occupational Classification tables tables and charts for each of the sections are available upon request by emailing Leanne Brown at lbrown@equalityni.org


 
 
< Employment Workforce sectors and reports >
Companies data >
What is Fair Employment Monitoring? >
 

Monitoring Northern Ireland's Workforce


This, the 33rd Monitoring Report (pdf), presents an aggregated summary of the 3,807 valid monitoring returns received during 2022 from 105 public authorities and 3702 private sector concerns.  These returns were mostly received between 1st January and 31st December 2022.

This year’s report shows the Roman Catholic community share of the monitored workforce was [50.1%] and the Protestant community share was [49.9%].

For ease of navigation the report is broken down into sections, with a short overview. Additional, technical tables and charts for each of the sections are available upon request by emailing Leanne Brown at lbrown@equalityni.org

1. Monitored Northern Ireland Workforce

Employees

 
  • In 2022, for the first time since monitoring began the share of the total monitored workforce from members of the Roman Catholic community was [50.1%] was greater than from members of the Protestant community [49.9%].


Applicants, appointees, promotees and leavers

 

  • The Roman Catholic community continued to comprise more than half of applicants [52.3%] and appointees [52.5%].
  • Members of the Roman Catholic community comprised [51.9%] of leavers from the monitored workforce and members of the Protestant community comprised [48.1%] of leavers. Overall, the share of leavers from the Protestant community has decreased by [7.7 pp] from [55.8%] in 2001.
 

2. Private Sector

Private Sector Employees

 
  • In 2022, while the Protestant community continued to comprise the majority of the private sector workforce the Roman Catholic community share [49.8%] continued to increase, on average, [0.5 pp] per annum. However, over the last three years, the annual increase has been lower at around [0.2 pp].

Applicants, appointees, promotees and leavers

 

  • The Roman Catholic community continued to comprise more than half of applicants [52.1%] and appointees [52.0%].
  • In 2022, the share of private sector leavers from the Roman Catholic community was [52.2%].
 

3. Public Sector

Public Sector Employees

 
  • In 2022, for the third consecutive year, members of the Roman Catholic community [50.8%] comprised the majority of the public sector workforce compared to the Protestant community [49.2%].


Applicants, appointees, promotees and leavers
 

  • For the eleventh consecutive year, members of the Roman Catholic community [53.2%] comprised a greater share of applicants than members of the Protestant community. The Roman Catholic community comprised more than half of all appointees [54.%].
  • For the second consecutive year the Protestant community [49.0%] accounted for less than half of the of leavers from the public sector.
 

4. Health Sector

Health Sector Employees

 
  • In 2022, the Roman Catholic community share [54.9%] of health sector employment continued to increase, continuing the trend observed since 2011 of a greater share of members of the Roman Catholic community in the health sector.


Applicants, appointees, promotees and leavers
 

  • In 2022, the Roman Catholic community continued to comprise a greater share of health sector applicants [58.2%]. The Roman Catholic community share of appointees [57.5%] decreased in 2022 by [0.1 pp] from the previous year.  Overall, the Roman Catholic community share of appointees has increased by [7.3 pp] from [50.2%] in 2001.
  • During the period 2008-2022, the shares of leavers from members of the Roman Catholic community and members of the Protestant community fluctuated, and thus no observable trend can be identified by community background.
 

5. Education Sector

Education Sector Employees

 
  • In 2022, the Roman Catholic and Protestant community shares of the education sector workforce were [51.0%] and [49.0%] respectively.

Applicants, appointees, promotees and leavers

 

  • Members of the Roman Catholic community continued to account for a greater share of applicants [53.3%].
  • During the period 2008-2022, the Protestant and Roman Catholic community shares of leavers fluctuated.
 

6. District Councils

District Council Employees

 
  • In 2022, while members of the Protestant community [51.3%] continued to account for the majority share, the Roman Catholic community share continued to increase [48.7%].

 

Applicants, appointees, promotees and leavers

 

  • Members of the Roman Catholic community comprised the majority of applicants [54.0%] and for the tenth consecutive year, the majority of appointees [53.5%].
  • As with every year across the period from 2008, members of the Protestant community [53.0%] comprised a greater share of leavers from the monitored workforce.
 

7. Civil Service

Civil Service Employees

 
  • In 2022, while members of the Protestant community [51.2%] continued to comprise the majority of the civil service workforce, the Roman Catholic community share increased to [48.8%].

Applicants, appointees, promotees and leavers
 
  • In 2022, the Roman Catholic community share of applicants was [53.4%]  The Roman Catholic community share of appointees [51.7%] an increased of [5.6 pp] on the previous year.
  • As with every year across the period from 2008, members of the Protestant community [54.5%] comprised a greater share of leavers from the monitored workforce.
 

8. Security-related Sector

Security-related Sector Employees

 
  • In 2022, the Protestant community share was [72.7%] and the Roman Catholic community share was [27.3%].


Applicants, appointees, promotees and leavers

 

  • Members of the Protestant community continued to comprise the majority of security-related sector applicants [70.2%], appointees [71.5%] and leavers [76.8%].

 

9. 'Other' Public Authorities

'Other' Public Authority Employees

 
  • In 2022, members of the Catholic community [51.0%], for the second year, comprised the majority of the workforce.  The Protestant community share [49.0%] has decreased during the period 2008-2022 by [5.1 pp].

 

Applicants, appointees, promotees and leavers
 

  • In 2022, members of the Roman Catholic community share [55.4%] accounted for the majority of applicants and appointees [56.0%].
  • The Protestant community share [51.4%] of leavers decreased in 2022 by [2.7 pp] on the previous year, and overall decreased by [9.8 pp] from [63.9%] in 2008.
 
 

Find out more
Additional technical tables and charts for each of the sectors are available upon request by emailing Leanne Brown at lbrown@equalityni.org

 

 

Previous Monitoring Reports


Monitoring Report No.32 (2021)

 



Monitoring Report No.31 (2020)

 



Monitoring Report No.30 (2019)

 

 



Further information
Additional technical tables, charts and older monitoring reports are available upon request by emailing Leanne Brown at lbrown@equalityni.org



 
< NI Workforce - High Level Trends Over Time Companies data >
What is Fair Employment Monitoring? >

> Previous monitoring reports

2016 (Monitoring report No.27)


2015 (Monitoring report No.26)


2013 (Monitoring report No.24)

 

2011 (Monitoring report No.22)

 

2009 (Monitoring report No.20)

 

2007 (Monitoring report No.18)


2005 (Monitoring report No. 16)


2003 (Monitoring report No.14)

 

2001 (Monitoring report No.12)

2014 (Monitoring report No.25)


2012 (Monitoring report No.23)

2010 (Monitoring report No.21)


2008 (Monitoring report No.19)


2006 (Monitoring report No.17)


2004 (Monitoring report No.15)


2002 (Monitoring report No.13)







 


 

 

 

 
 
Companies data

Company data received from the valid monitoring returns received during 2022, from 88 public authorities and 2,458 private sector concerns which had 26 or more employees is available to download. There were 17 public authorities and 1,244 private sector concerns which had 25 or less employees, and these are not detailed here.

1. Composition of Individual Specified Authorities (26+ employees)

This deals with employees of the 88 public authorities and the community background of the total workforce in each concern, including part-time staff, from the 2022 monitoring returns:
 
 

2. Composition of Private Sector Concerns (26+ employees)

This deals with employees in those 2,458 private sector concerns with 26 or more employees. The community background of the total workforce in each concern, including part-time staff, from the 2022 monitoring returns.
 
 

3. Composition of Appointees to Individual Specified Authorities (26+ employees)

This lists the composition of appointees to those 88 public bodies with 26 or more employees. The total number of appointees to each body is given from the 2022 monitoring returns:
 

 

4. Composition of Appointees to Private Sector Concerns (251+ employees)

This provides information on appointees to the private sector in the same format that was used for the public sector in Section 3:
 

 

5. Interpretation of Company Data

The Commission recommends that care should be exercised in the interpretation of the information contained in relation to companies. In particular, composition does not have to reflect the overall composition of both communities at the NI level.
 

 
 



 
< Workforce sectors and reports
Monitoring Report No.33 - High level trends
What is Fair Employment monitoring? >
 

What is Fair Employment Monitoring?


The following downloads may be of help in assisting the reader in understanding the information presented in this report including the range of definitions and methodological points to be considered when interpreting the data, and in the wider concepts associated with fair employment.

What is 'Fair Employment' Monitoring?

Under Fair Employment legislation, employers in Northern Ireland must review their own workforce composition once every three years to assess ‘fair participation’ between the Protestant and Roman Catholic communities and where there is an under-representation, take appropriate affirmative action.

To do this they are required to collect workforce monitoring information on an ongoing basis, and to use that information in their considerations.

Find out more:

 

 

What is the Fair Employment Monitoring Report?

A summary of the monitoring data collected by employers is also submitted to the Commission each year. The Commission has to date used this information to publish an Annual Summary of Fair Employment Monitoring Returns.

The report provides an overview of high level patterns in the aggregate composition of monitored employment and in key sectors, public and private. It also provides details on key sub sectors and, via annexes, specific employers. The information, along with supporting technical tables is also available via this website.

Find out more:

 

 

FAQ: Key Definitions and concepts in Fair Employment

A consideration of fair employment relies on a number of key definitions and concepts, including:
 
  • the ‘community’ focus of monitoring and the meaning of terms such as fair participation; affirmative action; under-representation, catchment area and chill factor

  • those organisations subject to monitoring

  • the aspects of employment that are monitored (employees, applicants, promotees, leavers) and changes in the coverage of monitoring over time


Find out more:
 

 

The Fair Employment Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order 1998

The Fair Employment Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order 1998, prohibits employers from discriminating against or harassing job applicants and employees on the grounds of religious or similar philosophical belief or political opinion.

In addition to prohibiting discrimination, the Order imposes a number of extra duties on certain employers:

 
  • to register with the Equality Commission

  • to monitor the community background and sex of the workforce

  • to submit annual monitoring returns to ECNI

  • to conduct triennial reviews of the composition of the workforce and of employment practices (i.e. “Article 55 Reviews”)

  • to take affirmative action, where it is reasonable and appropriate to do so.


Find out more:
 

 
 

 
Companies data
< Workforce sectors and reports
Monitoring Report No.33 - High level trends


Additional information:

Trends in Community Proportions of Applications & Appointments to the Private & Public Sectors

Analysis of Fair Employment Monitoring Report Data 1991-2010
This paper considers key trends in applications and appointments (across all monitored employers in Northern Ireland) by community background over time.  Data is summed from that presented annually in the published monitoring reports to consider trends across the public and private sectors, and in key sub-areas of the public sector (for two discrete periods 1991-2000 and 2001-2012 in total; and also individual year-on-year data).

Although there are limitations in the data, the analysis indicates that community proportions of appointments approximate the community proportions of applications for each period, though with the total Protestant proportion of appointments lower than applications.  There are however some important differences overall and in year-on-year trends.

Find out more:

 

 

Community composition of the NI workforce as a whole

Community composition of the Northern Ireland workforce as a whole (including the non-monitored workforce):
An analysis of Labour Force Survey data (Dec 2010)

The Commission wished to improve knowledge and understanding of the community composition of the Northern Ireland workforce as a whole, including those sections of the workforce not covered by the FETO monitoring regulations.

An analysis of the Labour Force Survey (2001-2008) suggested that the estimated Protestant and Roman Catholic shares of the monitored workforce were similar (allowing for sampling error) to their respective shares of the non-monitored workforce.  Further, the estimated community compositions of the two largest sub-groupings (‘the self-employed’ and ‘employers with 10 or less employees’) broadly mirror the pattern observed in the non-monitored as a whole with the two smaller groupings (the Clergy and Teachers) having estimated community compositions further from the figure for the non-monitored workforce as a whole.

Find out more:

 

 
 
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