EHRC research update June 2016

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) Research Database Newsletter for June 2016 includes an equal pay and pay gaps reading list.

The EHRC research team provides a quarterly research database newsletter. Each newsletter has a specific theme as well as containing summaries of new research reports and a reading list of key literature on a particular topic.

All reading lists are available at:

Unless stated, all EHRC research reports can be downloaded from:

To subscribe to the Research Database Newsletter or request PDFs or printed copies of research reports please email


LSE book examining social policy during the recession

In May 2016, the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion at LSE published Social Policy in a Cold Climate: policies and their consequences since the crisis.

The book provides data-rich, evidence-based analysis of the impact government policies from 2007/08 to 2015 have had on inequality and on the delivery of services such as health, education, adult social care, housing and employment in the wake of the greatest recession of our time.

Journal of Poverty and Social Justice – special issue on Equality and Human Rights

The February 2016 issue of the Journal of Poverty and Social Justice (Volume 24, number 1) is a special issue on Equality and Human Rights guest-edited by Dr Tania Burchardt (LSE Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion and Co-chair of the Equality and Diversity Forum Research Network) and Dr Moira Dustin (Equality and Diversity Forum and EDF Research Network).

The inspiration behind the special issue was an EDF project in 2015 making connections between equality, human rights and social justice. Like that project, this issue brings together research on different policy areas (including employment, social care, poverty and violence against women) and disciplines (law, social policy and sociology), and reaches across Europe and the USA. The Editorial is free of charge to download.

The Journal of Poverty and Social Justice welcomes international papers on a broad spectrum of poverty-related topics including social security, employment and unemployment, regeneration, housing, health, education and criminal justice, as well as issues of ethnicity, gender, disability and other inequalities as they relate to social justice.

Explainer on human rights and the EU

What are the consequences for human rights if we change our relationship with the EU? sets out Europe’s legal systems in relation to human rights and ‘helps to disentangle some of the issues relating to a complex and fragmented UK human rights framework that draws on two separate European legal systems’.

The explainer by Dr Katie Boyle, University of Roehampton, was published in 2016 as part of the UK in a Changing Europe Initiative.

Equality and Human Rights Commission – Is Britain Fairer?

Is Britain Fairer?, the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s statutory five-yearly report on equality and human rights progress in England, Scotland and Wales, was published on Friday 30 October 2015.

It is the most comprehensive review ever carried out on progress towards greater equality and human rights protection in Britain, revealing that while for many life has become fairer over the past five years, for others progress has stalled and for some– in particular young people and poor White boys – life on many fronts has got worse.

Is Britain Fairer? draws on a wide range of major datasets and the Commission’s own analysis to reveal how, as the country becomes more ethnically and religiously diverse than at any point in its history, new complexities mean many existing assumptions about which  of us encounter greater challenges may no longer hold to be true.

Analysis in the review identifies eight key challenges for policy makers, statutory bodies and other groups to address over the coming years:

  1. Improve the evidence and the ability to assess how fair society is.
  2. Raise standards and close attainment gaps in education.
  3. Encourage fair recruitment, development and reward in employment.
  4. Support improved living conditions in cohesive communities.
  5. Encourage democratic participation and ensure access to justice.
  6. Improve access to mental health services and support for those experiencing (or at risk of experiencing) poor mental health.
  7. Prevent abuse, neglect and ill-treatment in care and detention.
  8. Tackle targeted harassment and abuse of people who share particular protected characteristics.

The following are available alongside the full report:

  • a standalone executive summary (in English, Welsh, BSL and Easy Read versions)
  • the evidence which underpins the report, in the form of 10 evidence papers (which report the evidence by domain, or area of enquiry); 3 supporting papers (a context paper, methodology paper and technical paper, which provide the necessary background to the review); and relevant data tables.

Is Wales Fairer? was published in December 2015. It identifies seven key challenges that need to be addressed in Wales over the next five years.

Is Scotland Fairer? was published in January 2016. It identifies seven key equality and human rights challenges for Scotland over the coming years.

Is England Fairer? was published in March 2016. It identifies nine key equality and human rights challenges to be addressed.

Join the discussion:

The Commission invites you to join the debate by tweeting or retweeting using the hashtag #IsBritainFairer, by liking or sharing EHRC’s posts on Facebook or by blogging about Is Britain Fairer? with links to

EHRC press release for ‘Is Britain Fairer?’

Lizzie Barmes on ‘Bullying and Behavioural Conflict at Work’

Bullying and Behavioural Conflict at Work: The Duality of Individual Rights by Professor Lizzie Barmes was published in November 2015.

In an empirical study of the interaction between law, adjudication, and conflicts about behaviour in the workplace, Lizzie Barmes analyses how labour and equality rights operate in practice in the UK. Arguing that individual employment rights have a Janus-faced quality, simultaneously challenging and sustaining existing distributions of power between management and employees, she calls for legal intervention at work to focus on resolving tensions between collective and individual concerns across the range of workplaces, and to stimulate the expression and reconciliation of different viewpoints in the implementation and enforcement of individual legal entitlements.

Based on extensive primary research, the volume surveys and analyses experiences and attitudes towards negative behaviour in the workplace, and explains relevant employment and equality law as it has developed from 1995 to the present day, covering the major case law and legislative developments over this time. This book provides qualitative analysis of authoritative UK judgments about behavioural conflict at work from 1995 to 2010, as well as of interviews with senior managers and senior lawyers, allowing the reader first-hand insight into the influence of law and legal process on problems and conflict at work.

Lizzie Barmes is Professor of Labour Law at Queen Mary University of London and Co-chair of the Equality and Diversity Forum Research Network.

Call for papers: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Equality and Diversity

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Equality and Diversity: An International Journal was launched in 2015. This multi-lingual and fully open access journal will publish peer reviewed papers covering any aspect of equality and diversity, such as studies of employment, education and other provision of services. The aim of the journal is to provide a forum for international research which advances and challenges our understanding of equality and diversity from innovative theoretical and empirical perspectives.

Papers should be submitted via the online system which includes instructions for authors.

The following forms of submission are welcome:

  1. Original research papers which examine equality and diversity in any disciplines / sector from any geographical location. Papers may be position pieces, theoretically informed empirical work, theoretical pieces or systematic literature reviews (between 6000 to 8000 words plus references and a 200 word abstract and up to five key words/terms).
  2. Case studies, including examples of equality and diversity interventions from the public and private sector, teaching, charities and other bodies (maximum length 5000 words plus references and a 150 word summary).
  3. Letters – this may include responses to previously published studies – we hope to encourage debate.
  4. Professional insight including, teaching resources (many of our readers will be engaged in teaching within higher education and the school system), community and industrial outreach and reports from conferences, training sessions, etc. (maximum length of 1500 words)
  5. Essays from students in the field of equality and diversity (maximum length 3000 words plus references and 150 word abstract).

Call for proposals for special issues: The Journal will publish at least one special issue per year. Please contact the journal at with an expression of interest and further details.

Trust for London: London’s Poverty Profile 2015

London’s Poverty Profile 2015 was published in October 2015.

The fifth report in the series, London’s Poverty Profile 2015 looks at how London has recovered from the recession in terms of unemployment, out-of-work benefit claims and the quality of work available; how poverty and inequality have changed at a time when average incomes have been flat; how London’s housing boom is affecting affordability, tenure patterns and housing benefit claims; and how local authorities have been managing their homelessness duty with reduced funds and restrictions due to welfare reform.

One of the key findings of the report is that 27% of Londoners live in poverty after housing costs are taken into account, compared with 20% in the rest of England. The majority of people living in poverty in London are in a working family – from 700,000 to 1.2m people in the last decade, an increase of 70%.

The report uses the most recent government data to consider London’s progress on key indicators since the last report in 2013 and over the last decade.

London’s Poverty Profile is commissioned by the independent charitable foundation Trust for London and produced by independent thinktank, New Policy Institute.

EHRC report on access to civil law justice

Equality, human rights and access to civil law justice: A literature review was published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission in October 2015.

This report examines the impact on equality and human rights of recent changes affecting access to civil law justice. It explores how recent changes – including reductions to the scope of civil legal aid, the Exceptional Cases Funding scheme, reforms to judicial review and the introduction of employment tribunal fees – have affected access to civil justice in England and Wales.