Written Answers. - Information on Equality Issues.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

39 Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Labour the plans he has to develop awareness-raising initiatives among the social partners to disseminate information on equality issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

I am happy to say that the level of awareness and the commitment of the social partners on equality issues is already quite encouraging.

Both have taken many initiatives and have been instrumental in creating wide awareness of the need for equality of opportunity and treatment in employment. The Federation of Irish Employers and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions have developed important guidelines on several aspects of employment equality. The level of collaboration between Government and social partners is an important factor in promoting equality in the workplace and is reflected in their membership of very many of the important public bodies which have a role in that aspect of public policy.

I am at present focusing in particular on the encouragement of initiatives by employers in both the public and the private sector and in monitoring how positive action is progressing in state bodies. This involves positive and public recognition of significant developments and, also, collecting and disseminating information on the nature of the progress being achieved.