The MacBride Principles for Northern Ireland
In the light of decreasing employment opportunities in Northern Ireland and on a global scale, and in order to guarantee equal access to regional employment the undersigned (i.e. the sponsors) propose the following equal opportunity/affirmative action principles:
- Increasing the representation of individuals from under represented religious groups in the workforce including managerial, supervisory, administrative, clerical and technical jobs.A workforce that is severely unbalanced may indicate prima facie that full equality of opportunity is not being afforded for segments of the community in Northern Ireland. Each signatory to the MacBride principles must make every reasonable, lawful effort to increase the representation of under-represented religious groups at all levels of its operation in Northern Ireland.
- Adequate security for the protection of minority employees both at the workplace and while traveling to and from work.While total security can be guaranteed nowhere today in Northern Ireland, each signatory to the MacBride principles must make reasonable good faith efforts to protect workers against intimidation and physical abuse at the workplace. Signatories must also make reasonable good faith efforts to ensure that applicants are not deterred from seeking employment because of fear for their personal safety at the workplace or while traveling to and from work.
- The banning of provocative religious or political emblems at the workplace.Each signatory to the MacBride principles must make reasonable good faith efforts to prevent the display of provocative sectarian emblems at their plants in Northern Ireland.
- All job openings should be publicity advertised and special recruitment efforts should be made to attract applicants from under-represented religious groups.Signatories to the MacBride priciples must make special efforts to attract employment applications from the section of the community that is substantially under-represented in the workforce. This should not be construed to imply a diminution of opportunity for other applicants.
- Lay-off, recall, and termination procedures should not in practice favor particular religious groupings.Each signatory to the MacBride principles must make reasonably good faith efforts to ensure that lay-off, recall and termination procedures do not penalize a particular religious group disproportionately, Lay-off and termination procedures that involve religious group if the bulk of employees with greatest seniority are disproportionately from another religious group.
- The abolition of job reservations, apprenticeship restrictions and differential employment criteria, which discriminate on the basis of religious or ethnic origin.Signatories to the MacBride principles must make reasonable good faith efforts to abolish all differential employment criteria whose effect is discrimination on the basis of religion. For example, job reservation and apprenticeship regulations that favor relatives of current or former employees can, in practice, promote religious discrimination if the company’s workforce has historically been disproportionately drawn from another religious group.
- The development of training programs that will prepare substantial numbers of current minority employees for skilled jobs, including the expansion of existing programs and the creation of new programs to train, upgrade, and improve the skills of minority employees.This does not imply that such programs should not be open to all members of the workforce equally.
- The establishment of procedures to assess, identify, and actively recruit minority employees with the potential for further advancement.This section does not imply that such procedures should not apply to all employees equally.
- The appointment of a senior management staff member to oversee the company’s affirmative action efforts and the setting up of timetables to carry out affirmative action principles.In addition to the above, each signatory to the MacBride principles is required to report annually to an independent monitoring agency on its progress in the implementation of these principles.