Whitepaper: How Best to Protect Your Organisation from Equality and Discrimination Claims in Northern Ireland

Posted in : NI on 1 March 2017 Issues covered:

How Best to Protect Your Organisation from Equality and Discrimination Claims in Northern Ireland


The employment law landscape in which employers in Northern Ireland operate is undoubtedly complex and challenging.  Employment law is a devolved matter and whilst equality legislation in both Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland has largely been consolidated, in Northern Ireland legislation prohibiting discrimination in the workplace is located in numerous separate pieces of legislation reflecting different protected groups.  Industrial Tribunals hear discrimination claims on the grounds of sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, age, part-time working and equal pay.  The Fair Employment Tribunal deals primarily with claims of discrimination on the grounds of religious belief or political opinion but it can also hear other claims where these are combined with a religious or political discrimination complaint.  Appeals from the Industrial Tribunals and the Fair Employment Tribunal are made to Northern Ireland Court of Appeal and the U.K. Supreme Court is the court of highest national authority.  Decisions of the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in G.B. are not binding on local Tribunals but, where relevant, are generally regarded as persuasive.

A review of published decisions of the Industrial Tribunal in 2016 shows that half of all successful discrimination claims were claims of disability discrimination and that the vast majority of these claims were grounded on the failure to make reasonable adjustments. 

This whitepaper reviews the learning from the most significant equality cases of 2016 to now and concludes with guidance on how best to protect your organisation from equality and diversity claims.

This article is correct at 01/03/2017

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.