Motion no: 39

Executive Council

Conference commends the ongoing work
of Congress and affiliates in protecting and promoting human rights and equality on the Island of Ireland and in building a culture of respect for human rights and equality in our workplaces and trade unions. Rights violations and inequalities are still a feature of our workplaces and societies and we need to build on recent successes (including the repeal of the 8th Amendment and subsequent introduction
of abortion services in the Republic of Ireland; the planned introduction of paid parental
leave and...) and to continue our efforts in the following areas, including:

  • IHREC Group – continue our engagement with IHREC and employers in the advisory group set up by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission to promote a culture of respect for human rights and equality in our workplaces.

  • National Strategy for Women and Girls – participate in the monitoring structures
    for the Strategy to seek to progress the objectives of particular relevance to working women.

  • Family Leaves – seek to ensure the passing
    of the Family Leave Bill leading to the introduction of paid parental leave and longer breastfeeding breaks for working women.

  • Gender Pay Gap – ensure the passing of Gender Pay Gap reporting legislation.

  • Sexual harassment – commend the work at the ILO towards a new international labour standard on violence and harassment
    in the world of work and seek its early ratification; and continue to seek to improve the legal protections for victims of sexual harassment.

  • • Childcare – continue our advocacy with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs
    to ensure the development of the single affordable childcare system equates quality with an agreed set of terms and conditions for those charged with working in the sector.

Conference notes the progress achieved
in implementation of the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities and urges all stakeholders to use the next phase of the strategy to remove the remaining barriers to equality in recruitment and retention of people with disabilities in employment.

Equality within our unions – to continue to monitor equality within our trade unions and to develop initiatives to improve the diversity in our leadership structures.

In Northern Ireland, Conference notes, with concern, the continued rollback on Equality protections. Even before the collapse of the NI Executive, Stormont had failed to implement important Equality strategies including, among others, an anti-poverty strategy, a gender equality strategy, a sexual orientation strategy and a properly funded childcare strategy.

The failure to re-establish the institutions has meant that long awaited equality regulations on the gender pay gap are still to be drafted and consulted on, some four years since provision was made in Employment Act 2015.

Conference also notes that Northern Ireland continues to have some of the most restrictive and punitive laws on abortion in the world and that a continued failure to legislate for abortion law reform has been recognised as a gross violation of women’s human rights. Same sex marriage is still not legal, despite having the support of the vast majority of the public and the majority of elected MLAs.

Conference calls for immediate action to be taken to legislate for abortion law reform and same sex marriage. Further action must be taken to ensure that Northern Ireland equality protections are safeguarded.