Further Memorandum submitted by the Department
of Economic Development Northern Ireland
INQUIRY INTO FAIR EMPLOYMENT
I am replying to a number of points which were
raised by the Committee on 9 December 1998.
In response to question 8 about vexatious applicants
I said (page 14) that no representations had been made to Government
in the responses to the White Paper. In fact out of a total of
127 responses there was one employer (a public Board) who urged
the imposition of penalties on vexatious applicants to the Fair
Employment Tribunal. The point I made about there being little
evidence of employers having a problem with vexatious applications
The Chairman raised two queries relating to
recurring costs (questions 37 and 40). The need to produce compliance
costs for legislation was not introduced until 1993. There are,
therefore, no estimates or figures available for compliance with
the existing legislation. However, the Standing Advisory Commission
on Human Rights considered the costs of compliance as part of
its review of the legislation and found at paragraph 6.10 "that
few employers considered that compliance had adversely affected
The attached table gives further detail of the
estimated recurrent costs to the private sector under the obligations
imposed by the new legislation.
The Chairman also raised three points in relation
to the disposal of land and premises (questions 46 to 48). He
enquired as to the percentage of land sales which were publicly
advertised and those which were strictly private transactions.
I regret that this information is not available. He also asked
why it was deemed necessary to exempt private transactions in
relation to land and premises when there is no similar exemption
in other anti-discrimination legislation. That is not the case.
Article 29 of the Fair Employment and Treatment Order replicates
Article 22 of the Race Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1997
and Article 31 of the Sex Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order
1976. There are similar provisions in the Great Britain Race Relations
and Sex Discrimination legislation.
Finally, the Chairman asked whether the exemption
for private land and premises transactions conforms to UK human
rights obligations. I take it that the Chairman was referring
to the European Convention on Human Rights and I can confirm that
an exemption in the legislation to allow for private land and
premises transactions does not contravene any provision of the
If there are any other points on which the Committee
would like further information or clarification I should be happy
The Rt Hon Adam Ingram JP MP
Minister of State
6 January 1999
costs to private
|Requirements in Article 53(1)(a) (read with Article 70(1) to monitor part-time workers).
|Additional costs of the monitoring of applicants under Article 53(1)(b) by all private sector employers (instead of private sector employers with more than 250 employees as formerly).
|New requirements relating to review of religious imbalance under Article 56 (formerly "section 31 reviews").
|Monitoring of leavers under Article 53(3) and (4) and reviewing of promotions under Article 56(1) and (6)(b).
(rounded to 465,000)