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Sinn Féin TDs introduce legislation to ban accent discrimination in the workplace - Chris Andrews TD and Violet-Anne Wynne TD

26 January, 2021 - by Chris Andrews TD, Violet-Anne Wynne TD

Sinn Féin TDs Chris Andrews and Violet-Anne Wynne will tomorrow introduce legislation in the Dáil to prohibit discriminating against someone on the basis of their accent or perceived socio-economic background.

The Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2021 will amend The Employment Equality Act 1998-2015 and The Equal status Act 2000-2018 (Acts) to ensure employers could not discriminate against a job applicant or current employee because of their accent or the socio-economic status of the area they come from.

Speaking today, Teachta Andrews said:

“This is an important opportunity to protect people in the workplace against class and accent based discrimination.

“Sadly, this kind of discrimination is all too common in our society. One of my constituents recently had the upsetting experience of applying for a job in Dublin and finding out his accent had been mocked by during the application process due to being from an inner city area. 

“This is clearly discriminatory and unacceptable yet he had not legal protection against this discrimination. It’s time to close this loophole in our legislation and outlaw this prejudice.

“No-one should be mocked or discriminated against because of their accent or perceived social class. I am calling on TDs from all parties to back Sinn Féin’s bill.”

Teachta Wynne said:

“It is appalling that accent discrimination still occurs in our society and in the workplace. It should go without saying that no one should be judged or treated as being lesser because of their accent or stereotypes about their background.

“Our legislation is an important opportunity to change the current laws and protect people from class-based discrimination in the workplace. It is unacceptable that in 2021, this can still occur with no protections in place for workers who are subjected to it.

“I am urging all TDs to support this bill and ensure this important change can come about.”


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