Religious and Political Discrimination in the Workplace: Seeking Justice in Northern Ireland


Inequality between Catholics and Protestants in employment is an issue at the heart of the conflict in Northern Ireland. Even today Catholics are still more likely than Protestants to be unemployed. In the last two decades the government has introduced fair employment legislation, outlawing discrimination in employment on the grounds of religion or political opinion. But how effective is this system in providing redress to victims of discrimination?

This book answers this question from the perspective of people who consider that they have suffered discrimination. Based on a survey of people who asked for advice or complained about discrimination, it evaluates the key features of the complaints system. These include people's access to advice and information; their experiences of attending a tribunal hearing; their reasons for dropping complaints; and their satisfaction with the outcome. The book compares the experiences of Protestants and Catholics, and addresses whether both sections of the community believe the fair employment complaints system itself is unbiased. The authors then make recommendations for improving the system.


  • The background to fair employment legislation
  • Characteristics of complainants
  • Information and advice to complainants
  • The complaints process
  • Outcomes and satisfaction
  • Attitudes to community relations and the fair employment system
  • Conclusions and recommendations
  • Methodology
ISBN: 0853747105