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Question

120. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Justice and Equality her plans to amend the Employment Equality Act 1998 to include the additional ground of discrimination on the basis of criminal conviction, as recommended by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7232/15]

Answer

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin): I have no plans to amend the Employment Equality Acts 1998 - 2011 to provide for the additional ground mentioned by the Deputy. The matter of providing for non-disclosure by persons with convictions for certain past offences is being dealt with in the Spent Convictions Bill. I believe this Bill, rather than equality legislation, is the appropriate vehicle to deal with the complex issues arising here. The Bill has passed all stages in the Seanad and is currently awaiting Report Stage in the Dáil when certain further amendments to the disclosure provisions will be introduced with a view to the Bill's early enactment thereafter. Pending this, an Administrative Filter for Garda Vetting Disclosures has been introduced, which provides that certain minor offences that are over 7 years old are no longer disclosed in vetting reports.