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Sheerin calls for immediate efforts to make civil service more representative

29 October, 2019

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Equality and Human Rights Emma Sheerin MLA has called on the civil service to address underrepresentation of persons with disabilities within its workforce.

Speaking after a meeting with Jason Olsen from Ulster University on his recent research findings in the International Journal of Disability Management, Emma Sheerin MLA said: 

"The representation of people with disabilities within the Civil Service in the north is approximately 44% less than that seen in the US and Britain, with a mere 5.5% representation of persons with disabilities in its workforce.

"Pledges to ensure equality in the workplace have not resulted in substantive obligations to ensure equality in recruitment, or representation, of people with disabilities in the public sector.

"Sinn Féin wants to see opportunities for all and will continue to challenge underrepresentation of people with disabilities or any other group in our society. 

"People with disabilities face many challenges including higher daily living costs and lower levels of educational attainment. They have been disproportionally affected by the Tory policy of attacking those most in need in our society and by continued DUP opposition to the establishment of a comprehensive single equality bill for the north. 

"There is an onus on legislators to shatter a system entrenched in stigma, and to challenge, expose and address inequalities and ensure that people's rights and entitlements are secured."

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