This law prohibits discrimination and harassment on the grounds of religious belief and political opinion and applies to the fields of employment, higher education and goods, facilities and services.
This order also contains provisions related to equality monitoring and the statutory duty to promote fair participation in employment.
Political opinion is not simply confined to covering Northern Ireland politics but has been held to include opinions such as membership of the ‘broad left’ of a trade union.
The protected characteristic of political opinion is subject to the duty placed on public authorities (which includes the OU) to have due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity
This entails more than the elimination of discrimination and requires proactive measures to be taken to ensure equality for people of different racial groups in our policies and decision-making.
In addition, public authorities have a duty to have regard to the desirability of promoting good relations between people of religious belief, political opinion or racial group.