New Workplace Hate Crime Guidance Published

Everyone has a responsibility to recognise and prevent hate crime, Justice Minister Naomi Long has said as she launched a suite of new guidance for use in the workplace.

Making the announcement, Minister Long said: "Hate crime in any form is unacceptable. Targeting a person because of who they are or what they believe – be it their race, religion, political belief, sexuality, gender identity or disability – is wrong, irrespective of where it takes place. My department has worked closely with the Labour Relations Agency to produce new guides to support staff who experience hate crime in their place of work and I would encourage all employers to make staff aware of them."

Three separate guides are available, offering practical support in circumstances where a member of staff becomes a victim of hate crime or witnesses a hate crime – one each for employers, managers and employees.
News Image
The guides, developed in conjunction with the Labour Relations Agency, focus on hate incidents and hate crimes that occur in the workplace. They provide businesses of all sizes with information and resources in order to enable them to support staff who experience any form of hate crime. In addition, they will help to increase awareness of what constitutes a hate crime, how to report incidents and the support available.

Naomi Long added: "Everyone has a responsibility to understand what hate crime is and to seek to prevent it. If you see behaviour which you believe to be motivated by hate, and you want to reach out to help your colleague, these guides will advise you and help you to achieve that too. By increasing awareness of hate crime, highlighting the support available as well as helping you understand how to report it, we hope to reduce the number of victims."

The Department of Justice sponsored an independent review of Hate Crime Legislation, led by Judge Desmond Marrinan, to consider whether the existing legislation represents the most effective approach for the justice system to deal with criminal conduct motivated by hatred.

Judge Marrinan published his Report on 01 December 2020. The Minister of Justice agrees with the overall assessment that the current system is not working as effectively for hate crime victims or offenders as it could and therefore requires legislative change. The Department of Justice is working with the necessary partners and stakeholders required to progress each of the 34 recommendations in the report, including delivery of a consolidated Hate Crime Bill in the next mandate.

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

15 October 2013
Justice Department To Tackle Hate Crime
Justice Minister David Ford has outlined some of the strategies to be undertaken by his Department and the PSNI to tackle hate crime in Northern Ireland. The Minister was responding to a report by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission into the criminal justice system's response to tackling racist hate crime.
06 May 2014
Polish Residents Attacked In Latest Hate Crime
Two Polish residents of east Belfast have become the latest victims of a spate of racist hate crimes in the city, after the living room window of their house on Templemore Avenue was smashed at 23:30 on Monday night. A man in his 20s and a woman in her 40s were in the house at the time.
28 February 2020
Justice Minister Encourages Reports Of Online Hate Crime
Justice Minister Naomi Long is urging victims of online hate crimes to file a report to police to allow them to get the support they need. Ms Long encouraged members of the public to "call it out" and help police catch online perpetrators at an Online Hate Crime Event at Belfast City Hall.
04 August 2010
Communities Win Big Lottery Pay Out
Skills training, drug addition, alcoholism and difficulties endured by ethnic minorities are to be tackled in NI with funds from the Big Lottery Fund. Grants totalling over £2.5 million from the Fund's Reaching Communities programme - which supports a wide range of projects to improve people's lives - have been revealed today.
21 March 2007
New scheme will support victims of hate crime
A new scheme is set to help provide victims of hate crime with home and personal security measures. The government pilot scheme Hate Incidents Practical Actions (HIPA) project, launched by Criminal Justice Minister David Hanson, will be available 24 hours a day to provide support and reassurance to victims. “Hate in all its forms is wrong.