Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Questions (280)

Joan Burton


280. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if his Department has prepared written guidelines for staff and the public on dealing with transgender matters; if they are published; if staff have received training in respect of this; if his Department is participating in or making a submission regarding the review being undertaken in respect of the operation of the Gender Recognition Act 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7575/18]

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Written answers (Question to Rural)

My Department was established on 19 July 2017, to deliver on the Government’s commitment to bring a greater degree of coordination and cohesion to all of the work of Government in so far as it impacts on rural Ireland and on communities

My Department is strongly committed to equality of opportunity in all its employment and customer service practices. All internal and external stakeholders can be confident that their rights under the Employment Equality Acts are guaranteed and that no one will receive less favourable treatment by my Department because of gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religious belief, age, disability, race or membership of the Traveller community.

The Civil Service People Strategy for 2017-2020 contains an action for delivery in 2018 to review and revise the Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Policy to ensure the composition of the Civil Service is reflective of Irish society; the value of a diverse workforce is recognised internally and externally and helps to address our public sector duty to promote equality, eliminate discrimination and protect the human rights of civil servants. My Department will actively participate in the development and implementation of this policy.

My Department will also develop its own HR Strategy in 2018. This will include a learning and development plan for all staff, including training in equality and diversity initiatives for staff.

My Department has not made a submission to the review of the Gender Recognition Act 2015. This review is ongoing and my Department will participate in any initiatives under this review as appropriate.