Committee Reports::Report No. 06 - Equality From Employment Equality Agency to Equality Authority::18 November, 1996::Report

1. Introduction and Background

Background to the preparation of the Consultant’s Report

1.1.The Joint Committee was conscious of the fact that the most far reaching measures since the existing legislation was put in place in relation to equality/discrimination are being deliberated on in the Oireachtas at present paving the way for an Equality Authority. The Joint Committee was concerned that its views on the subject be made known as many of the issues involved come within its Terms of Reference.

1.2.The complete results of the work done by the researcher as presented to the Joint Committee are included in the Annex to this report.

1.3.The Joint Committee lists its recommendations in Chapter 2 and urges the appropriate authorities to take account of them.


1.4.The Joint Committee wishes to thank its researcher, Mr. Michael McGinley, for his work and preparation of the study contained in the Annex.

2. Recommendations

1. The Joint Committee recommends that the Equality Authority have full responsibility for all its functions from day one but that there be an adequate lead in time to facilitate full implementation.

2.The Joint Committee recognises the importance of the availability of full information not only on the remit of the Authority but also on its modus operandi and therefore recommends that full financial provision be made for an advertising campaign in all areas of the media detailing the various functions and the issues to be dealt with, such a campaign to be carried out in the lead in period.

3.The Joint Committee recognises that one of the greatest difficulties which the EEA faced was inadequate resourcing and therefore strongly recommends that the Minister for Equality and Law Reform at the earliest opportune moment and before the latest proposals become law consult with the EEA as to the level of staffing which would be appropriate for the new Authority.

4.The Joint Committee recommends that there be ongoing provision for legal expertise to the new Authority either through the employment of suitably qualified personnel or provision for the ongoing engagement of legal services and other appropriate professional services.

5.The Joint Committee recommends that particular attention be paid to the area of sexual harassment, which it regards as being under-reported in this country, in the work of the new Authority.

6.The Joint Committee recommends that the new Authority, unlike the EEA, be allowed to recruit staff throughout the Civil Service and that it be permitted to advertise posts publicly.

7.The Joint Committee regards as essential adequate and accessible premises for the new body.

8.The Joint Committee strongly recommends that a one stop shop on equality/discrimination matters be incorporated in any new premises.

Approved by the Joint Committee on 21 November 1996.

Mary Wallace T.D.,