Eighth Guiding Principle – Equality

(Accepted with commentary by the N.I. Executive – 27/09/07)


This Guiding Principle seeks to remind employers of the need to be conscious of all facets of equality when implementing processes associated with the RPA.

Guiding Principle

The Commission recommends that the Executive remind employers that equality of opportunity, the promotion of good relations and human rights must be visibly addressed in all decision-making affecting employees throughout the RPA implementation process.

Associated Recommendations

The Commission recommends that:

  • Employers should pay due regard to the recommendations of the equality codes of practice and other guidance issued by the Equality Commission.  A list of the main codes or practice and guidance publications is set out in Appendix 1.  However, each organisation should consider its own sectoral codes and guidance as a first point of reference.  The Commission’s remit is focused on staff matters.  Nevertheless it is conscious that the statutory equality responsibilities of employers stretch beyond these into areas such as equity of access to services and promotion of positive attitudes.  This is a complex area and the Commission exhorts all employers to pay careful attention to how their decisions impact across the full ambit of their responsibilities.
  • Employers should consult with their legal representatives and the Equality Commission for advice and guidance, where appropriate.
  • The arrangements for implementing this Guiding Principle and Associated Recommendations should be the subject of consultation and negotiation with trade unions and other representatives of staff.
  • Employers should share “best practice” information and guidance on the mainstreaming and promotion of equality of opportunity, good relations and human rights into the policies, practices and procedures affecting employees.
  • The Commission recommends that the Executive reaffirm its view that the delivery of equality is a central objective of the RPA and that new organisations will not have any diminished responsibilities in this area whether in relation to the treatment of staff or other matters.


Equality Codes of Practice and other important publications (1)

The employment – related equality codes of practice are-

  • Fair Employment in Northern Ireland – Code of Practice
  • Removing Sex Bias from Recruitment and Selection – A Code of Practice
  • Code of Practice on Equal Pay
  • Protecting the Dignity of Women and Men at Work – A Code of Practice on Measures to Combat Sexual Harassment
  • Code of Practice for Employers for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the Promotion of Equality of Opportunity in Employment
  • Disability Code of Practice – Employment and Occupation
  • Code of Practice for all employers on the avoidance of race discrimination in recruitment while seeking to prevent illegal working [published by the Home Office]

Other employment – related good practice guidance publications are-

  • Sexual Orientation Discrimination in Northern Ireland – The Law and Good Practice
  • Age Discrimination in Northern Ireland – The Law and Good Practice for Employers
  • Harassment & Bullying in the Workplace
  • Equal Pay Review Kit
  • Recruitment Advertising – A Good Practice Guide
  • A Step by Step Guide to Monitoring – Monitoring your workforce and applicant in line with fair employment regulations
  • Employment Equality Monitoring – A Guide
  • Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 – Guide to the Statutory Duties
  • Promoting positive attitudes towards disabled people and encouraging participation of disabled people in public life – A Guide to Public Authorities
  • A Good Relations Framework – Community Relations Council

Copies of these publications may be obtained from the Equality Commission.

Further Guidance/Information



A - Z of Employment

A - Z of Employment

Employment Questions and Answers

Employment Questions and Answers



Labour Market Research and Information

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