Public consultation on bill to prevent schools in Northern Ireland from hiring teachers on the basis of religious beliefs
The NI Assembly Committee began its review of the Fair Employment (Teachers) Bill on Monday and launched a public consultation to ask people in Northern Ireland for their views on the matter.
he bill aims to change fair employment legislation, to ensure that schools are no longer allowed to use religious beliefs as grounds for deciding who to hire for teaching jobs.
Committee chair Sinéad McLaughlin of the SDLP said: “Fair employment legislation exists here to make it illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of religion and political opinion. However, like the clergy, the recruitment of teachers is currently exempt from this legislation.
“The Fair Employment (Teachers) Bill seeks to remove the exception for teachers and put them in the same position as other employees in Northern Ireland.
“The removal of the exception also means that teachers’ employers will not have to check the community origin of candidates and that teachers will not be able to bring complaints of religious discrimination in recruitment.
“While this bill came to committee very late in the term, we are committed to reviewing its proposals and listening to the views of those who may be affected by the bill.
“We have designed a short survey to gather people’s opinions on the Bill’s proposals. We look forward to hearing the results of the consultation and making recommendations on the Bill to the Assembly.”
The private member’s bill was first introduced by Alliance party education spokesman Chris Lyttle, MPP, who last year welcomed executive backing for his proposal .
You can access the consultation survey here: http:// nia1.me/4sk