Border Force passport job condition '˜possible discrimination'

The Equality Commission has told the UK Border Force a campaign to recruit staff for jobs based at Belfast International Airport which made holding a British passport a requirement 'could raise concerns about possible discrimination'.

The jobs will be based at Belfast International Airport
The jobs will be based at Belfast International Airport

The SDLP said they had referred the requirement for a British passport to the commission.

Guidance notes for applicants, posted alongside the job listing on the civil service recruitment website, state that the jobs will be based at Belfast International Airport.

A Home Office spokesperson told the News Letter earlier this week that the posts are open to Irish passport holders, so long as they are also holders of a British passport – a form of dual citizenship made possible by the Good Friday Agreement.

Eileen Lavery, head of advice and compliance at the Equality Commission, said: “The Equality Commission has been in contact with the Border Force over some time regarding issues around a recent recruitment advertisement by them for staff in Northern Ireland.

“The commission has made the point that the requirement for a person to hold, and produce at interview a British passport, in order to meet the criterion of being a UK national, could exclude a large section of the Northern Ireland population who identify as Irish, hold no UK passport and, in many cases, hold an Irish passport.”

She added: “We have pointed out that this could raise concerns about possible discrimination on grounds covered by the Fair Employment and Treatment Order, which includes political opinion, and/or by the Race Relations Order.”

SDLP Brexit spokesperson, Claire Hanna MLA, said: “For the SDLP this is completely unacceptable.”