Human rights commission backs ban on socio-economic employment discrimination

Chief Commissioner Emily Logan
Chief Commissioner Emily Logan

Legislative measures to tackle employment discrimination against people from and living in deprived areas should be introduced, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has said.

Following the publication of the Mulvey Report on measures to support the long-term economic and social regeneration of Dublin’s North East Inner City, the Commission has said that employment discrimination against people living in areas facing socio-economic challenges should now be considered for prohibition in law under the Employment Equality Acts (EEA).

This approach would allow people seeking employment to ensure that their applications are assessed on their skills, qualifications and ability and rather than on social background or postal address.

The Mulvey Report highlights the fact that unemployment levels in Dublin’s North East Inner City sit at double and triple the national average. It also highlights that local jobs don’t necessarily mean local employment as jobs are filled by residents of more prosperous areas.

While Ireland’s current equality legislation does not contain a socio-economic status ground, a number of European countries such as Belgium have already moved to prohibit discrimination on the ground of social and economic backgrounds, while France has seen a provision focused around postal addresses on their discrimination grounds.

Chief Commissioner Emily Logan said: “Adding a new prohibition in law to provide equal opportunities for people, irrespective of their socio-economic status in seeking and securing employment, can be a catalyst in breaking cycles of deprivation through securing long-term employment.”

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