Equality Officer Recruitment Opportunity
Candidate Information Booklet
Assembly Grade: 6
Salary: £39,442 – £40,625
Deadline for applications: Completed Application Forms must be submitted no later than 12 noon (UK time) on 30 January 2023
Please retain a copy of this booklet for your reference throughout the selection process (you can download a PDF version of this booklet using the link above).
Thank you for your interest in the position of Equality Officer (AG6) in the Northern Ireland Assembly (the Assembly).
The Assembly operates in a dynamic and fast moving political and legislative environment, and as a newly appointed Equality Officer, you will be provided with an excellent opportunity to make an important and valued contribution to Assembly business; upholding the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission’s (the Assembly Commission) values of professionalism, integrity and impartiality.
In turn, we offer a competitive salary, excellent pension provision and a range of other employee benefits listed on the Recruitment website.
Please read the information provided in the candidate information booklet carefully and if you are interested in this exciting post, I would encourage you to submit your application.
If you would like to find out more about the post before making an application please contact Paul McIlwaine, during normal office hours, Tuesday to Thursday on 02890 521941.
Sinead McDonnell, Head of Human Resources
The Assembly is at the heart of political and public life as the democratically elected legislature that represents the interests of Northern Ireland and its people.
Established as a key element of the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement, the Assembly comprises 90 Members and has three main functions – making legislation, scrutinising the Executive and representing constituents.
In accordance with the Northern Ireland Act 1998, the staff, services and facilities which are needed to support the work of the Assembly are provided by the Assembly Commission, a corporate body comprising the Speaker and five Members of the Assembly. The day-to-day running of the Assembly is delegated to the Clerk/Chief Executive and the Senior Management Team (SMT).
The Assembly Commission therefore provides the infrastructure (including Parliament Buildings), facilities and staff to allow the Assembly and its Committees to meet and to encourage public awareness of, and engagement with, the parliamentary process. It also pays the salaries of Members and reimburses the expenses which enable them to undertake their duties both at the Assembly and in their constituency offices.
The Assembly Commission is a high-achieving and professional organisation providing impartial support to the Assembly and its Members. The Assembly Commission is independent of the Executive and the Northern Ireland Civil Service.
The Assembly Commission has approximately 370 staff and an annual revenue budget of £51m.
- About the Role
- Core Responsibilities
- The Person
- Essential Criteria
- Shortlisting Criteria
- Skills & Behaviours
- Equal Opportunities Statement
- Completing the form
- Recruitment and Selection Framework
- Stages of the Selection Process
- Guaranteed Interview Scheme
- Key Employee Benefits
- Terms and Conditions of Appointment
- Equality Monitoring
- Merit List
- Communication during the recruitment process
- Further Information
The role of the Equality Officer is a challenging and diverse post. The post holder will support the Equality Manager in leading the Assembly Commission’s Equality function to assist in ensuring the Assembly Commission meets its statutory duties under Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act, 1998, and section 49A and 49B of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (as amended by Article 5 of the Disability Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 2006) across all of the Assembly Commission’s functions.
The post holder will provide advice and guidance to stakeholders and will play a pivotal role in maintaining the Assembly Commission’s corporate equality objectives and developing plans to implement these. They will assist in the research, design, implementation and evaluation of a policy framework which guides the Assembly Commission in maintaining compliance with the statutory duties. The Equality Officer will develop and manage relevant external relationships and will ensure that relevant statutory compliances are in place for Members, building users and members of the public.
The main duties and responsibilities of the role are to:
- Support the Assembly Commission in meeting Section 75 equality and disability duties across all of its functions (including service provision, employment and procurement) through the effective implementation; monitoring and review of its equality scheme and associated equality action plans;
- Advise and assist directorates on the implementation of the Assembly Commission’s equality scheme, particularly in relation to policy formulation, equality screening, equality impact assessments, consultations and on-going monitoring and review procedures ensuring this work is conducted in accordance with the guidance published by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI) and the Assembly Commission’s equality scheme;
- Assist in the review and development of equality models and policies, including research, liaison with other organisations and consideration of legislation and good practice;
- Develop effective relationships and maintain a network of contacts with a range of external and partner organisations including statutory equality bodies, the community, voluntary, trade unions and other public bodies, MLAs, Assembly Commission staff, the Equality Unit’s consultee list of organisations and members of the public to ensure the effective implementation of the Assembly Commission’s equality, good relations and disability equality obligations;
- Assist with and/or investigate section 75 complaints (that arise either internally or externally) and prepare an investigation report and inform complainants and the Senior Management Team of the outcome(s);
- Support the Equality Manager in the provision of advice and guidance to the Commission, SMT and Directors and to write briefing papers, SMT and Commission papers and draft policies, audits and plans;
- Conduct research to inform equality objectives and analyse data to inform policy/plan decisions and for the identification of any gaps in provision;
- Assist in undertaking internal and formal public consultation projects based on equality related strategies, action plans or policies in compliance with ECNI guidance;
- Contribute to the submission of the ECNI annual equality progress report and five-year review reports;
- Develop and maintain arrangements to facilitate public access to information and services provided by the Assembly Commission. This will include the management of information related to the implementation of the Assembly Commission’s statutory equality and disability duties on its website;
- Assist the Equality Manager in the preparation of draft Assembly Written and Oral Questions for the Assembly Commission;
- Comply with all of the Assembly Commission’s policies and procedures including Equal Opportunities and Dignity at Work policies and procedures and all mandatory training requirements;
- Carry out other duties that the Assembly Commission may reasonably require of you.
You are able to work under your own initiative. You should have the ability to communicate clearly and effectively as you carry out your new and important role.
You must also be able to work collaboratively with a range of internal and external stakeholders and engage professionally and partially with senior managers and elected Members in relation to Equality matters.
At the closing date of applications, applicants must have:
1. At least a primary degree and a minimum 2.2 classification, in any subject. Applications will be considered from applicants with formal qualifications of an equivalent or higher standard to those stated;
2. A minimum of two years’ experience assisting with the development, implementation and review of equality and diversity policies, practices and procedures, under Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and the disability duties under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, as amended;
3. Evidence of significant contribution in each of the following areas:
a) Assessment of the equality impacts of policies adopted or proposed to be adopted by a public authority, on the promotion of equality of opportunity and good relations through equality screening and equality impact assessment.
b) Development of strategies and policies to ensure service users and consultees have access to information and services.
c) Engagement in consultation with the public or external service users and analysis of the outcomes.
At least four years’ experience in the area outlined at essential criteria 2;
You meet the requirements as set out at essential criteria 3.
Should shortlisting be required, the following shortlisting criteria will be applied:
Effective stakeholder engagement to achieve outcomes.
The following Assembly Skills and Behaviours will be assessed during the selection process:
Delivering a quality service
…is about providing a high-quality and efficient service to our customers. It is thinking ahead, managing resources effectively and delivering work on time and to a high standard. It is also using professional or technical expertise to enhance service delivery.
Building relationships and effective communication
…is creating and maintaining positive, professional and respectful internal and external working relationships through effective and appropriate communications.
Initiating improvement and delivering change
…is looking for and being open to new and innovative ideas and improvements to the service provided. It is being flexible and adapting positively and professionally to sustain performance when the situation changes, workloads increase or priorities change. It is about forming sound, evidence-based decisions and being accountable for results.
The Assembly Commission is committed to equality of opportunity in employment and welcomes applications from all suitably qualified applicants irrespective of religious belief, political opinion, race, age, gender, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or people with dependents or without. All applications for employment will be considered on the basis of merit.
The successful applicant will be based in Parliament Buildings, Belfast. The role offers hybrid working whereby staff will have the opportunity to work from home for part of the week.
Only the information presented in the application form will be considered by the selection panel. CVs or other supplementary material will not be accepted in place of, or in addition to, completed application forms. Completed online forms must be submitted by 12 noon (UK time) on 30 January 2023.
Application forms submitted after the closing time and date will not be accepted.
There are five elements within the Recruitment and Selection Framework:
Experience – the knowledge or mastery of an activity or subject gained through involvement in or exposure to it.
Ability – the aptitude or potential to perform to the required standard.
Technical – the demonstration of specific professional skills, knowledge or qualifications.
Assembly Skills and Behaviours – the actions and activities that people do which result in effective performance in a job.
Strengths – the things we do regularly, do well and that motivate us.
The elements that will be assessed for this role are Experience, Technical, Assembly Skills and Behaviours and Strengths and the selection method(s) that will be used are detailed below. Further information on the Recruitment and Selection Framework are included in the Guidance on Recruitment and Selection for Applicants.
The essential criteria reflect the experience and knowledge that an applicant must possess in order to be able to undertake the role. An eligibility sift will be carried out on the basis of the information contained in the essential criteria section of the application form. You must therefore demonstrate clearly in your form how, and to what extent, you meet with the essential criteria for the post.
The Selection panel reserve the right to use shortlisting as part of the selection process for this post. Should shortlisting be used, the shortlisting criterion listed in the Job Specification will be applied. The selection panel reserve the right to set a minimum standard for the shortlisting criterion and/or to only invite those who score highest in the shortlisting criterion to the next stage of the selection process. If shortlisting is not necessary, all applicants who have demonstrated the essential criteria will proceed to the next stage of the selection process.
Applicants who pass the eligibility sift will be required to attend an interview which will assess the information contained in this booklet.
Part of the interview process will be the delivery of a presentation. The subject of the presentation will be advised to the applicant on the day of the interview and the applicant will be expected to present information to the selection panel.
Interviews are planned for week commencing: 13 February 2023
The selection panel reserves the right to hold a further interview stage if deemed necessary.
Further information on the Recruitment and Selection process is available in the Recruitment and Selection Framework and Guidance on the Recruitment and Selection for Applicants.
The Guaranteed Interview Scheme (GIS) supports applicants with disabilities or those with a long-term impairment or health condition, that is expected to last for at least 12 months and which means that they cannot meet all of the shortlisting criteria. In these instances, provided that they have demonstrated in their application form that they meet the essential criteria for the role, the applicant will be invited to interview.
When considering applications made under GIS, the Human Resources Office reserves the right to request medical information from the applicant’s general practitioner (through the applicant and with their consent).
If you are disabled and consider that you require reasonable adjustments to enable you to participate in any part of the selection process, please indicate this on the application or contact us at [email protected].
We offer an annual leave allowance of 25 days, increasing by one day per year up to a maximum of 30 days. In addition, we offer 12 days of public and privilege holidays.
The Assembly Commission will enrol you into the Civil Service Pension Scheme from the first day of employment. Staff contribute between 4 and 9% of salary and the Assembly Commission contributes a further 28 to 35% of salary, depending on your rate of pay.
We also offer a range of non-salary benefits which include hybrid working; supportive family friendly policies; flexi-time; health and wellbeing initiatives including an Employee Assistance Programme; supported learning and development; Cycle to Work Scheme; Payroll Giving; and volunteering opportunities.
The successful applicant will be given suitable training, including formal specialised courses as necessary.
As an equal opportunities employer, we are happy to talk about the possibility of flexible working in this role with the successful applicant.
This is a permanent appointment. The successful candidate will be an employee of the Assembly Commission. All appointments are subject to the satisfactory completion of a six-month probationary period.
The standard working week is 37 hours, excluding meal breaks (42 hours gross). Working hours will be dictated by the mode of operation of the Assembly and may on occasion involve work into late evenings and on occasions, at weekends and on public holidays.
Under Fair Employment legislation, we are required to monitor the community background and gender of those applying for jobs. You must therefore complete the equal opportunities monitoring section of the application form when applying for the post.
The merit list of applicants deemed to be appointable will remain “live” for 18 months from the date it is signed and may be used to fill any further permanent or fixed term opportunities for the same post.
The Assembly Recruitment Team will issue most communication electronically. You should therefore regularly check your email account to make sure you do not miss any important communication. Please note, sometimes the Recruitment Team emails are automatically filtered as spam by email providers.
If you require more information on the recruitment process, please contact the Assembly Recruitment Team on 02890 521741.
Further information about the Assembly can be obtained on the Northern Ireland Assembly website.
The Candidate Information Booklet does not constitute any term or condition of employment.