Equality and Human Rights Commission report: The Cumulative Impact of Tax and Welfare Reforms

‘The impact of changes to direct taxes and benefits is to reduce the income of
Bangladeshi households by around £4,400 per year on average’.

Four months after releasing their 2017 interim report, the Equality and Human Rights Commission have published their final cumulative impact assessment (pdf), in March 2018.

The report exposes how much individuals and households are expected to gain or lose, and how many adults and children will fall below an adequate standard of living, as a result of recent changes to taxes and social security.

The report finds:

Negative impacts are particularly large for households with more disabled members, and individuals with more severe disabilities, as well as for lone parents on low incomes
For some family types, these losses represent over 13% of average net income
At an individual level, women lose on average considerably more from changes to direct taxes and benefits than men
Lone parents in the bottom fifth of the household income distribution lose around 25% of their net income, on average
Around 1.5 million more children are forecast to be living in households below the relative poverty line as a result of the reforms.
EDF and a number of our members have contributed to the development of this important research.

Read the full report (pdf).

Institute for Fiscal Studies briefing: Poverty and Low Pay in the UK

logo for Institute For Fiscal Studies

57% of people in poverty are children or working-age adults living in a household where someone is in paid work.  

This is according to a March 2018 briefing from the Institute for Fiscal Studies on poverty and low pay in the UK. 

The briefing finds:

Low pay is highly related to lack of pay progression. The wages of the low- and high- educated, and of men and women, end up much further apart by age 40 than they were at the start of their careers
Experience and education are both positively associated with higher wages, but the association with experience is much stronger for the high-educated than the low-educated
The fact that women’s wages fall behind their male counterparts over the lifecycle is, in part, related to a remarkable lack of wage progression in part-time work.
Read the full briefing.

Equality and Human Rights Commission survey report and campaign: Moving Forward

6 in 10 employers agree that a woman should have to disclose whether she is pregnant during the recruitment process.

This is according to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) who have published the results of their survey on maternity discrimination in the workplace, in February 2018.

The aim of the survey was to understand managers’ attitudes around pregnancy and maternity discrimination.

Findings from the survey include:

44% of employers agree that women should work for an organisation for at least a year before deciding to have children
40% of employers claim to have seen at least one pregnant woman in their workplace ‘take advantage’ of their pregnancy
41% employers agreed that pregnancy in the workplace puts ‘an unnecessary cost burden’ on the workplace.
EHRC have also launched a February 2018 campaign to combat these negative perceptions and end discrimination against new parents. Working Forward asks businesses to join the campaign and make the pledge.

Read the research report.

Find out on the Working Forward campaign.

Scottish Human Rights Commission report: Building a Human Rights Culture in Scotland

The Scottish Human Rights Commission logo.

Human rights belong to everyone. We all have rights regardless of sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age, income, gender, country of birth or belief.

This is from the February 2018 report from the Scottish Human Rights Commission on building a human rights culture in Scotland.

The research tested and identified the impact of different types of messages on people’s attitudes towards human rights

The report finds:

Demographic groups of women and 16-24 year olds were most likely to become more supportive and engaged with human rights when exposed to key human rights messages
When talking about human rights, organisations involved in human rights secured the greatest levels of trust amongst all those surveyed, with 58% of participants saying they would trust them a great deal or fair amount.
This compares to 17% for a famous singer, actor, sportsperson or musician who is well known for caring about human rights
Different spokespeople affected the impact of messages. For example across all those surveyed, a disability rights campaigner has more impact than the Chair of the National Human Rights Institution when discussing disability rights.
Read the full report (pdf).

European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights report: Migration to the European Union – Five Persistent Challenges

European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)

‘Asylum-seeking children in several EU Member States had no or limited access to education’, says a February 2019 report (pdf) from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).

Building on the findings of their October 2016 report (pdf), this report presents the most pressing fundamental rights concerns between October 2016 and December 2017.

The report finds:

Legal and practical obstacles to accessing legal aid, information and interpretation existed in all EU Member States covered
Sexual and gender-based violence in reception centres remains an issue in some EU Member States
Police and border guards reportedly ill-treated migrants, particularly on the Western Balkan route, and in Spain in certain locations.
Read the full report (pdf).

Genderfiveplus: Gender and Brexit – 22 March 2018

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Date: 22 March 2018
Time: 12:00 – 14:00
Location: Europa House , 32 Smith Square London SW1P 3EU
Cost: Free

Genderfiveplus, the European feminist think tank, invites you to a discussion about the implication of Brexit on gender equality.

The think tank will present a recently commissioned study about the views of stakeholders (academics, unions and women’s organisations) on Brexit. 

The question of gender equality legislation and the effect of Brexit for women on the labour market will also be addressed as well as an economic downturn in the UK and the EU.

The main question will be:

How can unwanted consequences of Brexit on women be avoided or minimised?
Sign up to the event or find out more. 

House of Commons Library briefing paper: Rough sleeping (England)

The House of Commons logo.

‘Relationship breakdown is the largest single trigger of rough sleeping, leading to 42% of male rough sleeping’.

This is according to the February 2018 briefing paper (pdf) from the House of Commons Library. This paper provides background information on the problem of rough sleeping in England, and outlines Government policy on this issue.

The paper finds:

The most recent statistics published on 25 January 2018 recorded a 169% increase in the number of people sleeping rough in England since 2010
Among women, 35% slept rough after leaving home to escape domestic violence
Rough sleeping is at its most severe in London.
Read the full report (pdf).

Human Rights Watch report: World Report 2018

Human Rights logo

Despite allegations of serious abuse in immigration detention centers, the UK
persisted in not imposing a maximum time limit for immigration detention, and
continued to detain asylum-seeking and migrant children.

This is from the January 2018 report (pdf) from the Human Rights Watch (HRW). World Report 2018 is their 28th annual review of human rights
practices around the globe.

The report summarises key human rights issues in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide, drawing on events from late 2016 through November 2017. 

The report finds: 

Germany over the past year made headlines when the Alternative for Germany (AfD) became the first far-right party to enter its parliament in decades
Despite a strong tradition of protecting civil and political rights, Australia has serious unresolved human rights problems. Australia continued in 2017 to hold asylum seekers who arrived by boat on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea and on the island nation of Nauru, where conditions are abysmal
Bahrain’s human rights situation continued to worsen in 2017. Authorities shut down the country’s only independent newspaper and the leading secular-left opposition political society. 
In Bangladesh, civil society groups faced pressure from both state and non-state actors, including death threats and attacks from extremist groups.

Read the full report (pdf).

Equality and Human Rights Commission report: Fair Opportunities for all – a Strategy to Reduce Pay Gaps in Britain

The EHRC logo.

What needs to change? The over-representation of women, most ethnic minority groups and disabled people in low-paid, elementary occupations.

This is according to the January 2018 report (pdf) from the Equality and Human Rights Commission. This paper sets out what needs to change and who needs to take action to reduce gender, ethnicity and disability pay gaps.

The report finds:

Some elements of pay gaps result from the choices people make about balancing work with other aspects of their lives, though these choices may be dictated or constrained by stereotypes about the roles people, particularly women, are expected to play in society
Part-time work is predominantly low-paid work and therefore the choice to work flexibly inevitably leads to lower pay
The Welsh Government has set clear equality objectives to identify and reduce the causes of employment, skills and pay inequalities
In April 2017, the UK Government introduced gender pay gap reporting for private companies across Great Britain and for public bodies in England
The Scottish and Welsh Governments already required pay gap reporting by public bodies.
Read the full report (pdf).