Under Schedule 9 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, AFBI is required to produce an Equality Scheme stating how it proposes to fulfil the duties imposed by Section 75 of the Act.
An Equality Scheme outlines arrangements for:
- assessing compliance with the duties under section 75
- assessing and consulting on the likely impact of policies on the promotion of equality of opportunity
- monitoring any adverse impact of policies on the promotion of equality of opportunity
- publishing the results of such assessments
- training staff
- ensuring and assessing public access to information and services provided.
AFBI's Equality Scheme was approved by the Chief Commissioner of the Equality Commission for NI on 27-Feb-13.
Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 requires AFBI, in carrying out its functions relating to Northern Ireland, to have due regard to promote equality of opportunity between persons of different religious belief, political opinion, racial group, age, marital status or sexual orientation; between men and women generally; between persons with a disability and persons without; and between persons with dependants and those without.
AFBI should also have due regard to the desirability of promoting good relations between persons of different religious belief, political opinion or racial group.
AFBI's Equality Scheme sets out its commitment to the promotion of equality of opportunity and good relations and how it plans to fulfil the duties imposed by Section 75 (S75).
AFBI's Audit of Inequalities & Action Plan - CONSULTATION
The ECNI recommends, in its publication “Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 – A Guide for Public Authorities”, that public bodies should undertake an audit of inequalities and develop an action plan to address inequalities identified in the organisation and its functions.
Under AFBI’s Equality Scheme, a commitment was given to carry out an Audit of Inequalities and development of an Action Plan.
Consultation on AFBI's draft "Audit of Inequalities and Action Plan" closed on 15th December 2014.
All responses received will be considered and a consultation report will be produced in due course.
AFBI's current list of Consultees 2014-15 (Updated 3-Nov-14)
Organisations wishing to be ADDED to AFBI's Consultee List should contact the AFBI equality office (details below) with their details (name, address, tel no, email address).
AFBI is committed to equality of opportunity and the promotion of a culture of rights and responsibilities in order to fulfil its statutory obligation in compliance with Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and all Equality Legislation as set out by the Northern Ireland Government.
AFBI’s Equality Scheme sets out its plans for fulfilling those obligations and was approved on 27 February 2013 by the Chief Commissioner of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI).
When a person believes that he/she has been directly affected by an alleged failure of AFBI to comply with the Equality Scheme, he/she is free to make a complaint.
The following paragraphs explain how to make a complaint and what you can expect from AFBI in responding to your complaint.
What is a Complaint?
A complaint is any representation made by any person who feels that they have been directly affected by the failure of AFBI to comply with the commitments set out in its approved Equality Scheme.
How to Complain
All complaints should be made in writing (letter or email) although complaints made over the telephone or in person will be accepted, but must be followed up with a written transcript. Equality complaints should be sent to the AFBI Equality Officer (contact details below).
Information to be included in your complaint
Your details - name, contact details (address, tel no, email)
Note that anonymous complaints will not be dealt with.
Summary of your complaint
- be as clear as possible about the nature of your complaint or concern, explaining how you have been directly affected by AFBI's alleged failure to comply with its Equality Scheme
- try to be specific, giving details of dates, names and subjects, where appropriate
- include any documentation (copies, not originals) you feel would support your complaint
The Equality Complaints Pro-Forma may be used to record your complaint.
What AFBI will do
- acknowledge receipt of the complaint within 5 working days
- carry out an internal investigation of the complaint
- respond substantively to the complainant within one month of the date of receiving the written complaint
If the investigation is likely to run beyond one month, the complainant will be advised of the extended period outlining the revised date of completion.
What if you are not satisfied with the outcome
If you are not satisfied with AFBI’s decision as a result of the investigation, you can submit your concerns to the AFBI Equality Officer who will consider them and provide a further response.
If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of the investigation, you can pursue the complaint further with the ECNI (contact details below).
AFBI will co-operate fully with any investigation by the ECNI providing access in a timely manner to any relevant information that may be required.
Equality Commission involvement
Note that before taking a complaint to the ECNI, you must have
a) brought the complaint to the notice of AFBI, and
b) allowed AFBI a reasonable opportunity to respond.
A complaint to the ECNI must be made in writing by the person claiming to have been directly affected by AFBI’s failure to comply with its approved Equality Scheme.
A complaint must be sent to the ECNI within 12 months from the day when the alleged matters were known.
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