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College withdraws ‘political’ question to job seekers

Thursday, 20 April 2017

THE Northern Regional College, which has three campuses in Ballymena, is reviewing its staff monitoring procedures after receiving a complaint for asking potential employees to declare their political party of choice.
There were also concerns expressed about inquiries into arrangements for caring for dependants.
The College has now withdrawn the questions after North Antrim TUV MLA, Jim Allister, contacted NRC's principal and chief executive, professor Terri Scott, to discuss the matter.
Mr Allister said: "I was made aware that the monitoring form for jobs at the Northern Regional College asked not just for community background, but requested which political party best represented the applicant's political opinion.
“I objected to this practice as it was not just unnecessarily intrusive but infringing of an applicant's rights.
“While the Fair Employment and Treatment (NI) Order 1998 requires employers to ascertain community background and gender it does not require the collection of data on political affiliation or sexual orientation.
“Additionally, question 12 on the form which asks if the applicant has caring responsibilities for children, an older person or a person with a disability leaves the college open to legal challenge because of sexual discrimination against young mothers.
*Read the full story in this week's Ballymena Guardian.

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