Select Committee on Northern Ireland Affairs Minutes of Evidence


Basic statistics regarding the Equality Commission[6]

Further Memorandum from Committee on the Administration of Justice

  This paper makes the following recommendations for the attention of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.

    1.  The Government must (in combination with other relevant actors) set ambitious but also realistic goals and timetables for reductions in the unemployment differentials and for progress in the employment sphere;

    2.  Affirmative action should be encouraged with legislative protection for any bona fide measures taken in furtherance of an affirmative action plan designed to ensure fair participation;

    3.  Contract compliance should be actively embraced as a positive reinforcement for good employment practices;

    4.  The Government should give renewed consideration to SACHR's various recommendations in the educational sphere, given the importance of this issue for later employment prospects;

    5.  The Government must be asked to assign additional resources to the new Targeting Social Need programme and must devise mechanisms whereby the skewing of resources is made more transparent;

    6.  Government departments should be asked what progress has been made to date in drafting equality schemes relevant to their areas of responsibility. CAJ would also request that the Committee examine how the existing PAFT arrangements are being operated;

    7.  The Committee should explore how the new Equality Commission plans to seek harmonisation of the existing fragmented legislation, so as to ensure that the rights of all groups are equally protected. In addition the Committee should explore how the Equality Commission is being funded vis a" vis the policing of the statutory duty on public bodies;

    8.  Legislation should be amended to incorporate all of SACHR's rejected recommendations including affirmative action, section 31 reviews, and the Fair Employment Tribunal. The option of exemptions to the equality legislation on the grounds of national security should be dropped.

6   Not printed. See p. vii. Back

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