Assembly Committee calls for views on Equality Legislation Gaps here

From: Northern Ireland Assembly
Published: Mon Jun 10 2024

An Assembly Committee is urging interested groups here to put forward their views on gaps in equality legislation in Northern Ireland.

The Committee for the Executive Office is undertaking an inquiry into differences in equality legislation between here and other regions of the UK - as well as between Northern Ireland and the EU. The work will take a number of months to complete and the Committee is expected to publish a report on its findings and recommendations in early 2025. Between now and then, it will carry out a number of pieces of activity to inform its work.

The first is to seek a wide range of public views over the summer months. This is being done using the online consultation tool, Citizen Space and a survey which has been launched today and will close on 6 September.

The Chairperson of the Committee for the Executive Office, Paula Bradshaw MLA said: “We want to hear from a wide range of people involved in or impacted by equality legislation and to ensure that their views are listened to. This is the first, but a very valuable stage in gathering information for the Committee to consider.

“Equality legislation affects all of us and it's crucial that we hear from as many people as possible to ensure that it is robust and fit for purpose.”

The Chairperson continued: “The questions we are asking aim to find out what gaps exist in equality protections across the UK, particularly in terms of disability; race and ethnicity; gender; sexual orientation or age. We also want to examine any differences there are in Northern Ireland, compared with the European Union. This is especially important since the UK has left the EU, and equality legislation may have diverged as a result.”

The Chairperson concluded:

“As a Committee we are keen to understand what the differences are, the impacts they have and how legislation here might need to change to ensure our standards are the same as in other places.

“Everyone's views are important to our work on this issue. I have no doubt that every completed survey will be central to our inquiry and will add much-needed context and value to our findings and subsequent recommendations.”

In the Autumn, the Committee for the Executive Office will invite a number of key groups to come to its meetings and present their views to members - while others may be asked to provide written submissions. The Equality Commission will brief the Committee in September and more organisations or individuals may be approached once the survey responses have been considered.

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Notes to Editors

  • Requests for hard copies of the survey can be made by writing to the Committee for the Executive Office, Room 419, Parliament Buildings Belfast BT4 3XX, telephoning 028 9052 1830 or emailing
  • The survey can be found here.

Anyone interested in submitting responses to the survey will be able to do so for 12 weeks, from Monday 10 June up until the closing date of Friday 6 September.

Company: Northern Ireland Assembly

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