Challenging Employment Discrimination Directly Can Boost Disadvantaged Areas Such as Dublin Inner City.

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (“the Commission”) has supported the findings of the Mulvey Report on measures to support the long-term economic and social regeneration of Dublin’s North East Inner City.

The Commission believes that employment discrimination against people living in areas facing socio-economic challenges, should now be considered for prohibition in law under the Employment Equality Acts (EEA). This approach would allow people seeking employment, to ensure that their applications are assessed on their skills, qualifications and ability and rather than on social background or postal address.

The Mulvey Report, in its findings has highlighted that unemployment levels in Dublin’s North East Inner City sit at double and triple the national average, requiring a significant change in approach, and has also highlighted that local jobs don’t necessarily mean local employment, as jobs are filled by residents of more prosperous areas. This same situation is found not only in Dublin’s North Inner City, but in areas of disadvantage around the country.

While Ireland’s current equality legislation does not contain a socio-economic status ground, a number of European countries, such as Belgium have already moved to prohibit discrimination on the ground of social and economic backgrounds, while France has seen a provision focused around postal addresses in their discrimination grounds.

Emily Logan, Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission stated:

“Adding a new prohibition in law to provide equal opportunities for people irrespective of their socio-economic status in seeking and securing employment, can be a catalyst in breaking cycles of deprivation through securing long-term employment.”

 

ENDS/

For further information, please contact:

Brian Dawson, IHREC Communications Manager,

01 8589601 / 087 0697095

bdawson@ihrec.ie

Follow us on twitter @_IHREC

Notes to editor:

The Acts which deal with discrimination in the workplace are the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2015. The EEA aim to ensure that people have equal opportunities in relation to skills, training, jobs and promotion. There are currently nine specific grounds prohibiting discrimination in relation to the workplace, covering areas such as gender, civil status, sexual orientation, religion, race and being a member of the Traveller community. Under the EEA legislation, those who believe they have experienced discrimination can ultimately raise the complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission was set up on 1 November 2014 as an independent public body to protect and promote human rights and equality in Ireland and build a culture of respect for human rights, equality and intercultural understanding in the State.

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Act 2014 sets out the functions of the Commission, i.e. to ensure that:

  • there is respect for, and protection of, everyone’s human rights;
  • there is respect for the dignity and worth of each person;
  • a person’s ability to achieve their potential is not limited by prejudice, discrimination, or neglect;
  • everyone has a fair and equal opportunity to take part in the economic, political, social or cultural life of the State; and
  • people respect each other, respect equality and human rights, and understand the value of diversity within society

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is Ireland’s national human rights institution and is recognised as such by the United Nations. The Commission is also Ireland’s national equality body for the purpose of a range of EU anti-discrimination measures.

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