Dear Equality Commission for Northern Ireland,

As per the below shocking announcement:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-i...

This course of action by the Department of Health is discriminatory towards those of us with genuine medical reasons not to be vaccinated. Again, I am being punished for my medical condition.

1). Please can the Commission provide evidence of consultation with the Department of Health in relation to this matter.

Yours faithfully,

Catherine Edgar

ECNI_Information, Equality Commission for Northern Ireland

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland acknowledges receipt of your
email which will be forwarded to the appropriate staff member(s).

 

Further information on the Commission’s work can be found on our
website [1]www.equalityni.org

If you are contacting us about a potential discrimination complaint then a
Discrimination Advice Officer will aim to be in touch with you within 3
working days.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.equalityni.org/

Eoin ONeill, Equality Commission for Northern Ireland

Dear Ms Edgar

I acknowledge receipt of your freedom of information request below which is receiving attention.

I have been unable to open the link and would be grateful if you could check if it is correct.

Regards

Eoin O'Neill
FOI Officer
Equality Commission for Northern Ireland

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Eoin ONeill,

My apologies Eoin, the below link works:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-i...

Thank you for the acknowledgement.

Kind regards,

Catherine

Eoin ONeill, Equality Commission for Northern Ireland

1 Atodiad

 

 

Dear Ms Edgar

 

I refer to your freedom of information requests of 20^th and 27^th July
2021 in relation to recommendations issued by the Commission to the
Department of Health, NI Executive or those who are part of the decision
making process on Covid vaccine passports and Commission consultation with
the Department of Health in relation to those with genuine medical reasons
not to be vaccinated.

 

The Commission has not made recommendations to or consulted with or been
consulted by the Department of Health or other bodies specifically in
relation to Covid vaccinations but I have set out below in italics the
relevant part of an email dated  25 August 2020 to the Department of
Health in relation to Section 75 duties generally which arose from a query
concerning the wearing of face masks. This advice is based on our section
75  guidance [1]S75dutiesCoronavirus.pdf  and would have been provided to
a number of public authorities developing policies during this period.

 

 

‘You will be aware that the Commission has provided advice to all public
authorities in relation to their Section 75 responsibilities in the
context of developing Covid-19 related policies, and has advised that the
duties continue to apply during the health pandemic.  The  Commission’s
advice is here: [2]S75dutiesCoronavirus.pdf.

 

This advice note fully recognises the exceptional context in which some
public authorities may be working to ensure that policies are in place to
deal with Covid-19 and that policy makers may need to make quick and often
challenging policy decisions. In this context you advise that the
Department has not had time to conduct equality assessments prior to the
legislation being enacted in relation of the wearing of face coverings.

 

In response, we advise that the Section 75 duties continue to apply, even
when implementing Covid-19 related policies ([3]S75dutiesCoronavirus.pdf).
We recommend, in relation to any urgent Covid-19 related policy, that
public authorities continue to try to focus on the duties, as far as
practicable and be able to demonstrate this. For example, screening should
at least begin when a policy is being developed  and if the screening
cannot be completed before the policy is implemented regular ongoing
monitoring and screening should be undertaken to examine any equality
impacts. Throughout the process it is especially important to be aware
that such decisions may have different impacts on different groups of
people and the Department must ensure that due consideration is given to
mitigating the anticipated or actual adverse equality impacts of the
proposed policies.

 

I trust this advice is helpful in considering the potential impacts and
mitigations.’

 

Regards

 

Eoin O’Neill

Freedom of Information Officer

Equality Commission for Northern Ireland

 

 

 

 

.

References

Visible links
1. https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
2. https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
3. https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlo...

Eoin ONeill, Equality Commission for Northern Ireland

1 Atodiad

 

 

Dear Ms Edgar

 

I refer to your freedom of information requests of 20^th and 27^th July
2021 in relation to recommendations issued by the Commission to the
Department of Health, NI Executive or those who are part of the decision
making process on Covid vaccine passports and Commission consultation with
the Department of Health in relation to those with genuine medical reasons
not to be vaccinated.

 

The Commission has not made recommendations to or consulted with or been
consulted by the Department of Health or other bodies specifically in
relation to Covid vaccinations but I have set out below in italics the
relevant part of an email dated  25 August 2020 to the Department of
Health in relation to Section 75 duties generally which arose from a query
concerning the wearing of face masks. This advice is based on our section
75  guidance [1]S75dutiesCoronavirus.pdf  and would have been provided to
a number of public authorities developing policies during this period.

 

 

‘You will be aware that the Commission has provided advice to all public
authorities in relation to their Section 75 responsibilities in the
context of developing Covid-19 related policies, and has advised that the
duties continue to apply during the health pandemic.  The  Commission’s
advice is here: [2]S75dutiesCoronavirus.pdf.

 

This advice note fully recognises the exceptional context in which some
public authorities may be working to ensure that policies are in place to
deal with Covid-19 and that policy makers may need to make quick and often
challenging policy decisions. In this context you advise that the
Department has not had time to conduct equality assessments prior to the
legislation being enacted in relation of the wearing of face coverings.

 

In response, we advise that the Section 75 duties continue to apply, even
when implementing Covid-19 related policies ([3]S75dutiesCoronavirus.pdf).
We recommend, in relation to any urgent Covid-19 related policy, that
public authorities continue to try to focus on the duties, as far as
practicable and be able to demonstrate this. For example, screening should
at least begin when a policy is being developed  and if the screening
cannot be completed before the policy is implemented regular ongoing
monitoring and screening should be undertaken to examine any equality
impacts. Throughout the process it is especially important to be aware
that such decisions may have different impacts on different groups of
people and the Department must ensure that due consideration is given to
mitigating the anticipated or actual adverse equality impacts of the
proposed policies.

 

I trust this advice is helpful in considering the potential impacts and
mitigations.’

 

Regards

 

Eoin O’Neill

Freedom of Information Officer

Equality Commission for Northern Ireland

 

 

 

 

.

References

Visible links
1. https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
2. https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
3. https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlo...

Dear Eoin ONeill,

Please forgive my ignorance but are you joking?

The Commission, surely after witnessing the disability discrimination encountered by those unable to wear face coverings – as a reminder “no mask, no entry/service”, the Commission should be planning and taking proactive measures to address the obvious discrimination that will arise from the use of domestic vaccine passports? There are Section 75 groups that will be affected by this and these considerations need to be robustly discussed.

As evidenced recently through the Highstreet Voucher Scheme, Robin Swann has already demonstrated his discriminatory intent towards those of us who for genuine medical reasons, are unable to take a Covid vaccination. What happens if the Executive decide on domestic vaccine passports use, I can’t buy food because of “no vaccine, no entry/service” signs in the supermarket?! Or, likely, as an alternative, I’ll have to provide a negative test just to get milk?? I understand this may seem extreme but I encountered “no mask, no entry/service” signs in a supermarket, we are at the extreme!

You must understand that given the unlawful discrimination I have been subjected to this past year, this inaction from the Commission is extremely worrying. I can’t quite believe it. Please, can you check again, surely the Commission must be addressing this issue?

Yours sincerely,

Catherine Edgar