Alliance Education spokesperson Chris Lyttle MLA has welcomed support from the Executive Office for his private member’s Bill tackling the exclusion of teachers from fair employment legislation.
Mr Lyttle was speaking after raising the matter during question time in the Assembly today (Monday). His Bill, which recently closed following a public consultation, looks to remove teachers from the Fair Employment and Treatment (NI) Order 1998, which means currently it is legal to allow discrimination on the grounds of religious belief in the recruitment of teachers.
The Chair of the Assembly’s Education Committee quizzed Junior Minister Declan Kearney whether he would support the Bill, to which the Minister replied he shared Mr Lyttle’s frustration at the ‘outmoded and outdated’ practice.
“This was a welcome statement from the Junior Minister, which comes on the back of members of other parties signalling their intent to support the Bill,” said Mr Lyttle.
“Alliance is clear – teachers should be included in fair employment legislation alongside the vast majority of other careers. It is now 2021 and long past time we reformed this anachronistic loophole in fair employment legislation.
“I hope the Junior Minister’s vocal support of my Bill echoes others in the Executive Office and we can finally see legislation progress on this issue.”