Launch of NI Joint Declaration of Protection
26 Oct 2017
Recognising the significant changes in the composition of the workforce of Northern Ireland and in particular its increasing diversity the Northern Ireland Employment Relations Roundtable launched a Joint Declaration of Protection (for Dignity at Work and Inclusive Working Environment) at the Spires Conference Centre, Assembly Buildings today.
Through the Declaration and as leaders of employment relations in Northern Ireland, the members of the Roundtable declare that everyone has a right to equality of opportunity in employment and the right to work in a harmonious and inclusive environment and atmosphere in which all workers are encouraged to apply their diverse talents and in which no worker feels under threat or experiences intimidation.
A representative from the CBI, said:
“Ensuring diversity in the workplace and promoting a harmonious and inclusive working environment is not only the right thing to do, it also makes clear business sense. A variety of voices make for better decisions and we believe there is a strong case for placing diversity and inclusion at the heart of business.
“To attract the best talent into top roles, we must prioritise effective leadership, employee engagement and inclusive recruitment practices, alongside better careers advice in schools, mentoring support at work and practical family friendly policies.”
NIC-ICTU Assistant General Secretary, Owen Reidy, said:
“This declaration is a very important initiative and is an example of the progressive and important work that can emerge when employers and unions work together in matters of common interest. It also demonstrates the need for proper social dialogue in Northern Ireland.”
FSB NI Policy Chairman, Wilfred Mitchell, said:
“FSB welcomes this refreshed Joint Declaration of Protection, updated to embrace the full range of diversity in Northern Ireland and to reflect and protect our inclusive society. FSB is proud to represent the small business community in Northern Ireland, and we will be recommending that all of our members adopt the Declaration in their own workplaces in consultation with employee representatives.”
A representative from the IoD, said:
“The diversity of Northern Ireland society has increased greatly in recent years due to changes in local demography and a growing number of people from other parts of the EU and beyond moving to live and work here.”
“And as the makeup of workplaces changes, it is important also that boardrooms in both the private and public sector reflect this growing diversity. This can help improve understanding and promote a more harmonious work environment, thereby improving productivity levels and raising wider economic standards.”
“By providing practical advice on the actions that can be taken by businesses to improve inclusivity, the Joint Declaration for Dignity at Work and Inclusive Working Environment can play an important role in helping to affect positive change where necessary.”
A representative from the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, said:
“The Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce is delighted to have been involved with the launch of the Joint Declaration of Protection. Our society has changed and it continues to change in response to a more multi-cultural Northern Ireland that is facing new social, economic and political pressures and agendas. The Joint Declaration is being promoted at a time when the increasingly diverse workforce of Northern Ireland really needs to know that its employers are committed to equality of opportunity and a workplace that is free from discrimination, victimisation and harassment. We encourage all employers to welcome the Joint Declaration and all that it stands for into their places of work.”
To accompany the Declaration the Roundtable has prepared a Model Workplace Policy with a list of actions which all employers and trade unions are encouraged to adopt.