Promoting equality of opportunity and good relations
Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 places a statutory obligation on Public Authorities to carry out their functions with due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity and good relations in respect of religious belief, political opinion, gender, race, disability, age, marital status, dependants and sexual orientation. To implement this obligation, we have produced an Equality Scheme which has been approved by the Equality Commission.
The DfI Equality Scheme was approved by the Department’s Senior Management Board in May 2016 and subjected to a public consultation in 2017. It has not been published in the absence of Ministerial approval.
The Department’s officials are currently referring to the former DRD’s Equality Scheme until the DfI version can be finalised.
The DRD Equality Scheme for 2011 - 2016 is available on the following page:
A summary of the Equality Scheme is available on the following page:
The Department has also produced an Easy Read version of the Equality Scheme. You will find this on the following page:
When a person believes that they have been directly affected by a failure of the Department to comply with the Equality Scheme they are free to make a complaint. Details of how to make a complaint can be found in the following page:
Annual Report to the Equality Commission
The Department's Equality Scheme commits the Department to submitting a formal review of progress, on an annual basis, to the Equality Commission, setting out the action taken to fulfil Section 75 commitments. The current report is available on the following page:
Previous year's reports are available at the following link - older reports can be requested from the DfI Equality Unit:
- Annual Report to the Equality Commission 2017-2018
- Annual Report to the Equality Commission 2016-2017
- Annual Report to the Equality Commission 2015-2016
ECNI Annual Reports covering before May 2016 relate to functions of the former Department for Regional Development (DRD) only. DRD ceased to exist and its functions transferred to DfI from midnight on 8 May 2016.
Five year review of Equality Scheme
The Department conducted a five year review of its previous Equality Scheme in 2006. The report which issued to the Equality Commission is available on the following page:
In 2011 the Department introduced a new Equality Scheme which was approved by the Equality Commission. This was reviewed in May 2016 prior to restructuring of Departments.
Northern Ireland Act
Full details of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 can be found on the legislation.gov.uk website:
Revised Guidance for implementing Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 was published in April 2010 by the Equality Commission. This revised guidance, and other information about the Equality Commission, can be found on their website by searching for 'Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 - A Guide for Public Authorities'. More information is available on the Equality Commission website:
Human Rights Act
The provisions of the Human Rights Act 1998 came into effect at the time of devolution and incorporated the European Convention on Human Rights into domestic law.
The Department must ensure compliance of its legislation, decision-making and administrative practice with the requirements of the convention. A Departmental Human Rights Action Plan has been put in place to fulfil this obligation.
More information on Human Rights can be found on TEO's website:
Delivering Social Change
The Delivering Social Change framework aims to deliver a sustained reduction in poverty and associated issues across all ages and is also seeking to secure an improvement in children and young people’s health, well-being and life opportunities thereby breaking the long term cycle of multi-generational problems.
More information on delivering social change can be found on TEO's website:
Information about alternative and accessible formats as well as consultation contact information is available from the Equality Unit contact page: