Praxis Centre for Policy Studies in Estonia, in conjunction with Cardiff University, produced a report on industrial relations and workplace adaption, ‘Supporting industrial relations in the field of workplace adaptation to enable the employment of older or disabled populations: Literature review‘, in February 2017.
The abstract says: “For persons with reduced work capacity, including disabled and elderly people, employment opportunities are influenced by access to work accommodation. This project aims to improve social partners’ expertise through industrial relations in the field of workplace accommodation, and as a result promote the inclusion of disabled and older people in the workplace. The purpose of this retrospective desk study analysis will, therefore, be to lay the foundations for transnational action research with social partners in Estonia, Poland, and Hungary, with the aim of documenting what practices already exist and looking forward, how these might be improved, drawing on best practices from other EU countries.”
The Ministry of Justice published a policy paper and launched a consultation on the future of the courts and tribunal service in September 2016. The Government responded in February 2017.
In particular, views were sought on:
- assisted digital facilities;
- automatic online conviction and statutory standard penalty; and
- panel composition in tribunals.
Read about the related consultation on Employment Tribunals, including our response.
Responses from EDF Members and Associates
Age UK published a summary of their index of wellbeing in later life in February 2017. The summary identified a wellbeing gap across health, engagement, education and resources for people aged 60 and over.
The index gathered information from 15,000 people, and focused on:
• What is important in later life;
• How older people are doing;
• Where and why wellbeing is low; and,
• What effect policy and projects might have in improving wellbeing.
Read more about the report, including indicators and methodology.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) Green Budget is published every year before the Chancellor’s Budget statement. The 2017 Green Budget was published in February 2017.
The report considered:
- The global economy;
- The UK economic outlook;
- Challenges for the UK public finances;
- Public sector liabilities in the whole of government accounts;
- UK health and social care spending;
- Working-age incapacity and disability benefits;
- Tax, legal form and the gig economy;
- Reforms to apprenticeship funding in England; and,
The Department for Work and Pensions published a policy paper, ‘Fuller Working Lives: a partnership approach‘, in February 2017, encouraging businesses to retain, retrain and recruit older workers and presenting the benefits of a fuller working life.
The DWP says that they intend to take the following actions to support older workers:
- empowering change through others – developing an evidence-based case for action
- supporting those who need more help – including women, carers, people with long-term health conditions and disabilities and black and minority ethnic groups
- reforming the Adult Skills system
- improving the Jobcentre Plus offer for older workers
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration launched an inquiry in February 2017 into the experience and concerns of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and public sector organisations in the area of migration, as the UK seeks to withdraw from the European Union and the Single Market.
The inquiry will take written and oral evidence throughout February and March with the intention of producing a published report in late April. The inquiry committee is seeking submissions from representatives of SMEs and industry sector bodies (in particular technology, pharmaceuticals and life sciences, social care, and food production and processing). It is also looking for submissions from regional chambers of commerce and equivalent bodies, the trade unions, and organisations that represent migrant community interests.
The deadline for the submission of written evidence is 28 February 2017. Oral evidence sessions are yet to be confirmed but likely to be held on the 20 (Manchester) and 21-22 March (London).
The House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee published their report on the disability employment gap in February 2017. The report noted that “Recent years have seen an increase in the number of disabled people in work, but too many disabled people are still being left behind in the labour market,” along with a series of recommendations.
The report aimed to address:
- To what extent are the current range of proposed measures likely to achieve the Government’s ambition of closing the disability employment gap?
- How effective is the Disability Confident campaign in reducing barriers to employment and educating employers?
- What should support for people with health conditions and disabilities in the proposed Work and Health programme look like?
- What are the likely impacts on disability employment of the abolition of the Employment and Support Allowance Work Related Activity component?
A national campaign to end female genital mutilation was launched in February 2017, to coincide with the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
Freedom Charity, in partnership with the National Police Chiefs’ Council, aims to encourage people to provide the police with information to help detect and prevent FGM in the UK and abroad. Aneeta Prem, Freedom Charity’s founder, said:
“Through education we can stop FGM in a generation. Through teaching we can explain the long-term health dangers and dispel the myths that have kept this barbaric practice alive. The help of boys as well as girls is needed to change opinions. We are asking that people wear the red triangle badge to mark the International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM.”
The Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a consultation into its measurement framework in January 2017.
In the past, the Commission worked with four frameworks to give a picture of progress across important areas of life in Britain. They are now seeking views on the development of a single measurement framework for equality and human rights.
The single measurement framework will be based on the human rights indicator framework developed by the United Nations. It will provide evidence on structure (the human rights and equality standards the UK must follow), process (what is being done to meet the standards) and outcomes (the experiences of individuals and groups).
It will focus on six ‘domains’, which reflect the areas in life that are important to people and help them to succeed:
- living standards and social care
- security and justice
- participation and private life
Relevant documents are available in both English and Welsh. Written responses are welcomed with a closing date of 21 February 2017.
The Legal Education Foundation published the latest update to their report on the digital delivery of legal services to people on low incomes in January 2017. This report, updated quarterly by Roger Smith OBE, included contributions on:
- Drivers for change, including crowd funding and bots;
- Artificial intelligence;
- Online dispute resolution;
- Developments in progress;
- The standards and evaluation of new initiatives;
- Technology, legal education and training; and
- Organisation and leadership.
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