Discrimination against LGBT teachers to end under amended law
TEACHERS WILL NOT be allowed to be dismissed for being a a lone parent, a divorcee or on the basis of their sexual orientation under an amendment to employment law set to be passed shortly.
Labour Senator Ivana Bacik says she is “delighted” that on Dublin Pride day the Government will move on her bill, which will see an amendment to Section 37 of the Employment Equality Act.
It is expected that it will be brought to Cabinet in the coming days.
The law as it stands, educational or medical institutions controlled by religious orders are permitted to be discriminatory against those whose sexual orientation or family status, is not perceived as conforming with the religious ethos of their institution.
Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Senator Bacik said it is something that has been slow moving, but that everyone has been keen to come to fruition.
The repeal of section 37 of the Employment Equality Act 1998 to eliminate legalised discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender (LGBT) people in the education and healthcare sectors was in the programme for Government, said Bacik, who said it is only right that it is finally being acted upon.
She said there were delays to getting to this stage as they had to await the Equality and Human Rights Commission report in order to ensure that the legislation was “robust enough, which I was happy with,” said Bacik.
“The Department of Education have been keen to progress it as it affects teachers in their everyday work,” she said.
“Teachers unions have been campaigning for this for a long time. While it has never been used to dismiss someone, it has still been present for teachers. It struck fear in teachers who were fearful of sharing personal details about their personal lives with colleagues and that really is unsatisfactory,” said Bacik, who said it is great that it has had cross party support.
Once the proposals are approved by Cabinet, they will be passed to the Dáil and Seanad.