Tackling Job Discrimination in N. Ireland

Regarding the letter to the editor about fair employment and discrimination against Catholics in Northern Ireland (''Catholics and Northern Ireland's Troubles,'' Dec. 5): The 1989 Fair Employment Act, which was enacted for just this reason, requires employers to monitor the composition of their work force and regularly review employment practices. The Fair Employment Commission can review and investigate employers and impose an action plan if necessary. The Fair Employment Tribunal hears complaints of discrimination and has awarded damages in the tens of thousands of dollars against employers.

While historic inequities facing Catholics in Northern Ireland cannot be denied, neither can the ongoing actions of the British government to tackle the issue head on. We have worked to provide a business environment where job discrimination is aggressively tackled and where foreign investment is encouraged.

Teresa M. Evans Boston

Press and Public Affairs Officer

British Consulate General

Helmut vs. helmet

What a surprise to find my first name, ''Helmut,'' in the Etceteras column, Nov. 27. I first wondered whether there was indeed any Roman centurion named Helmut, but a glance at the picture assured me that you were not talking about any such person. However, the piece of armor worn on the head is normally spelled helmet. This typographical error is not as rare as you might think. One of my students once quoted Ephesians 6:17 in her dissertation as ''the helmut of salvation.''

Helmut Koester Cambridge, Mass.

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