Getting equal through absurdity 2

May 3, 2002

Malcolm Keight is surely right to query an approach to pay equality that starts with job evaluation when so many other issues generating inequality can and should be considered first.

But pay is only one equality issue facing the universities. High on the list must be how universities respond to the Race Relations Act 2000 and the equality issues inherent in the Disability Discrimination Act. The Northern Ireland universities have an opportunity to show the rest of the UK how it might be done. Under the Northern Ireland Act of 1998, all public bodies must provide equality of opportunity for a range of groups, including those defined by religion, sexual orientation and age as well as gender, disability and race. The legislation requires the production of an equality scheme and equality impact assessments on existing and new policies.

There is no doubt that the new requirements are onerous and potentially intrude on traditional ideas of autonomy. But observers are waiting to see whether the universities can rise to the challenge and demonstrate their commitment to equality is more than "getting the paperwork right".

Bob Osborne

Register to continue

Why register?

  • Registration is free and only takes a moment
  • Once registered, you can read 3 articles a month
  • Sign up for our newsletter
Please Login or Register to read this article.