ISL 267 08 Equality for All Leaflet EasyRead by dfsiopmhy6


									Equality for all
Who are we and what do we do

    An EasyRead version of ‘A short guide to the role
    and services of the Equality Commission’.
                                       Who are we?

                                       The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland
                                       was set up in Northern Ireland to promote
                                       equality for all

                                       We are also called an independent public body.

                                       We are here for everyone in Northern Ireland.

                                       What do we want?

                                       The Equality Commission wants to help make
                                       Northern Ireland a place where everyone is
                                       respected and treated equally.

Evelyn Collins,   Bob Collins,
Chief Executive   Chief Commissioner

                                       We are here to make sure the laws about
                                       equality are followed.

What do we do?

Our job is to help people understand that
everyone has the right to be treated fairly.

We have lots of jobs. We:

    l   give advice and help if you think you
        have been treated unfairly

    l   give information through our helpline
        and our website and teach people about

    l   write booklets to help employers, service
        providers, education and training
        organisations understand the equality

l   have campaigns to remind people of the
    law or to tell them about new laws

l   make sure organisations are following
    the law about checking their staff

l   have the power to make sure people are
    following the law by looking carefully at

l   carry out research to find out how the
    law is working for people and make sure
    we have good information about people
    in Northern Ireland

l   make sure government bodies show us
    how they are going to make it better for
    different groups

l   look at how the law is working and we
    make sure government bodies show us
    how they are going to make it better in
    Northern Ireland.

The laws about equality

There are lots of laws in Northern Ireland that
help to protect you against discrimination.

The law says that no one should face
discrimination. Discrimination is to be treated
worse or bullied just because:

    l   you are a man or a woman, including a
        transsexual man or woman

    l   you have had or are going to have a

    l   of your race or the colour of your skin

l   of your ethnic background or the country
    you come from

l   you belong to the Irish Traveller

l   of the religion you believe in, including
    Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and
    many other world religions or because
    you do not believe in a religion at all

l   of your political views, including if you or
    someone in your family is in a political

l   you are gay, lesbian, bisexual or straight

l   of your age

l   of your disability.

How can we help?

We can give you free information and advice
about the law.

You can contact us on our helpline.


028 90 890 890

We are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

You can see our website for information:

or you can visit us at:

Equality Commission for Northern Ireland
Equality House
7-9 Shaftesbury Square
Looking carefully into things
and making sure people
follow the law

Sometimes we can give you help, like a lawyer,
if you think you have been treated unfairly for
one of the reasons on pages 4 to 6.

We can sometimes help you to take someone or
a company to court.

For example, if a company prints an advert in a
newspaper which talks about disabled people or
any of the other groups unfairly.

We do not decide if you have been treated

                A court or tribunal will do that. A tribunal is
                another kind of court.

        r   s
   rk e
Wo              We can check organisations to make sure that
                they are following the law about keeping a
                record of the different people who work in all
                organisations in Northern Ireland.

                We want to make sure people are treating each
                other fairly in organisations.

                Businesses in Northern Ireland must register
                with us if they have 11 or more staff.

The businesses have to keep records of people’s
religion and gender. They must keep the
information private.

This is to prove that every person, no matter
what their religion is, has an equal chance of
getting a job or being promoted.

People should get the job or be promoted
because they are the best person for the job,
not because of their religion.

When you apply for a job, businesses ask about
your religion and gender in an ‘equality
monitoring’ form.

Businesses must use this information to make
sure that they treat everyone fairly.

We check that employers are doing enough to
give people equal chances.

How to get help

Getting everyone to treat each other fairly is as
important as making sure everyone is following
the law.

We give advice, information and training to:

    l   all businesses, small and big

    l   trade unions

    l   people who give services (like shops,
        hotels, restaurants, health and social

    l   advocates and advisors

    l   public bodies (like councils and
        government departments)

    l   students and members of the public

    l   voluntary and community organisations.

We have guides to help people understand how
to follow the rules about treating others equally
and fairly.

The guides cover things such as:

    l   work

    l   education

    l   training

    l   pay

    l   membership of trade organisations

    l   housing.

We write codes of practice which help people
understand the law.

A code of practice is a guide to the best ways to
do something.

Courts and tribunals can use the equality guides
to decide if someone has been treated unfairly.

We do a lot to tell people all about equality and
how important it is. For example, we have ads
on the buses.

We also work with other organisations to make
Northern Ireland a fair and equal place to live.

We look at whether the law is working and talk to
the Government about any changes that are

Organisations that work for
the public (section 75 of the
Northern Ireland Act - equality
and good relations for public

The law says that public organisations must treat
you equally and fairly.

This law must be followed by organisations in
Northern Ireland. These include local councils,
hospitals and other government departments.

The aim of this law is to ensure that public
organisations think about equality in everything
they do. They must treat people fairly and
support equal chances for:

    l   disabled people

    l   men or women, and transsexual people

l   people from different racial groups
    including the Irish Traveller community

l   people of different religions and political

l   gay, lesbian, bisexual or straight people

l   people of different ages

l   people who care for a child, or an older
    person or a person with a disability.

                     They must produce equality plans and look at
                     how policies affect these groups.

                     They must support people of different racial
                     groups, religions and political views to get along
                     well and respect each other.

                     They must show us how what they do affects
                     different people in Northern Ireland.

       NI Ac t 7 5

                     We can give advice to these organisations about
                     this law.

We check that public organisations are treating
everyone fairly and properly.

Sometimes the public organisation will have a
policy that might affect you in a bad way.

You can complain to the Equality Commission.
This is a very difficult law but you can contact us
for more help.

Let us help you

If you need any help or advice or would like to
find out more, contact:

Equality Commission for Northern Ireland
Equality House
7 – 9 Shaftesbury Square


0208 90 890 890

0208 90 500 600


0208 90 500 589


0208 90 248 687



Other languages and formats
Please contact us if you need this leaflet in
another language or format.

Important notice
This booklet only gives help and information
about equality and discrimination laws in
Northern Ireland.

It is not the law and does not have everything
about the law.


This booklet has been designed and
produced for the Equality Commission for
Northern Ireland by the ‘EasyRead’ service
at Inspired Services Publishing Ltd.
Ref ISL 267/08. March 2009.

Artwork is from the Valuing People Clipart
collection and cannot be used anywhere
else without written permission from
Inspired Services. To contact Inspired


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