Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth | To ask the Minister for Children; Equality; Disability; Integration and Youth the extent to which he proposes to use equality as a means of ensuring proper and adequate services to those deemed to be in need of such services
To ask the Minister for Children; Equality; Disability; Integration and Youth the extent to which he proposes to use equality as a means of ensuring proper and adequate services to those deemed to be in need of such services; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
All public bodies have responsibility under Section 42 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014 to promote equality, prevent discrimination and protect the human rights of their employees, customers, service users and everyone affected by their policies and plans. The public sector duty assessment and implementation for the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth was published in 2021 and the Department will continue to report on developments relating to the implementation of the Duty in its Annual Report.
Discrimination on specified grounds is prohibited by law in the field of employment under the Employment Equality Acts 1998 to 2021 and in the supply of and access to goods and services under the Equal Status Acts 2000 to 2018. Complaints regarding breaches of equality legislation may be pursued before the Workplace Relations Commission. The Workplace Relations Commission publishes statistics regularly on its decisions in regard to equality complaints, disaggregated by discriminatory ground.
I am conducting a review of the Equality Acts to examine, among other issues, the functioning of the Acts and their effectiveness in combatting discrimination and promoting equality. This exercise includes a public consultation during 2021 which remained open for contributions until December 2021 and these submissions are now being examined. The review will also look at the degree to which the legislation is effective in ensuring equal access to services.
The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, which is independent in the exercise of its statutory functions, includes among those functions keeping under review the adequacy and effectiveness of law and practice in the State relating to the protection of human rights and equality, including in relation to the provision of goods and services.
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