New Report – Effective Recruitment of People with Disabilities into the Public Service

A new report of the recruitment of people with disabilities in the public sector was launched today by the Equality Authority and the Minister of State with responsibility for Disability, Mary Wallace TD. The Report is part of a joint venture between the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and the Equality Authority which included regional seminars, information and resource material. The report seeks to accelerate progress for the employment of people with disabilities in the public sector to reach the long established target of 3% employment in all public sector organisations.

“The rate of change in the employment rates of people with disabilities in the public sector over the last number of years is unacceptably slow and I am extremely disappointed that the 3% target has not been met yet” said Minister of State Mary Wallace TD at the launch of the Report today in the offices of the Equality Authority. “This is now an urgent matter and needs to be treated so if the public sector employers are to return to credibility with people with disabilities and the Government”, she added.

Niall Crowley, CEO, Equality Authority cited the “widespread discrimination in employment experienced by people with disabilities. Disability cases now make up 16% of our work under the Employment Equality Act (EEA), with access to employment as the main issue. The EEA makes specific provisions to ensure that positive action in employment for people with disabilities is legal, and therefore must be exploited to its maximum if the exclusion of people with disabilities from the workplace is to be effectively addressed”.

The research, conducted by Dr Pauline Conroy and Sarah Fanagan presents a disturbing and challenging picture and highlights…


  • the need for public sector bodies to move from a passive to a proactive approach, including the urgent requirement for local partnership arrangements between employers and trade union.
  • the need for a Code of Practice to collect data on employees with disabilities.
  • the need for practical supports to assist employers to introduce the necessary and required adjustments for employees with disabilities, including compliance with Part M of the building regulation.
  • The need for greater co-operation with and adequate resourcing of non-governmental organisations of people with disabilities.


“We must also keep an eye on issues of progression within employment in the public sector for people with disabilities and question the low level at which we set our recruitment targets” concluded Niall Crowley.

Copies of the Report are available free of charge from the Equality Authority Lo-call 1890 245545 or at