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Political opinion monitoring row overshadows real task of addressing workplace discrimination - Archibald

26 January, 2018 - by Caoimhe Archibald

Sinn Féin Further and Higher Education Spokesperson Caoimhe Archibald has said the real task of addressing discrimination in the workplace is being overshadowed in the current debate around some employers asking what political party represents an applicant's views.

Caoimhe Archibald said:

“The Fair Employment Treatment Order and Section 75 equality monitoring was put in place to address decades of religious discrimination in employment. 

“Some of the worst areas for religious imbalance in the workplace were in our higher education institutions, the Civil Service and skilled manufacturing.

“Proper monitoring of the balance of the workplace is important but those Further Education institutions asking what political party best represents an applicant's views have got their approach wrong.

“Political opinion for Section 75 purposes can be monitored in the same way as the process of designation in the Assembly: nationalist, unionist or other; asking what political party represents a person's views is overreaching.

“I am writing to Colleges NI and the Equality Commission to challenge this interpretation of the Section 75 equality provisions.”

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