Humanists UK: 2018 Convention, 22-24 June

humanists uk logo

Date: 22-24 June 2018
Location: Northumbria Students Union, 2 Sandyford Road, Newcastle, NE1 8SB
Time: 11am (Friday) –  4pm (Sunday)
Cost: £99 or £49 for students (plus £25 for training conference)

Humanists UK are holding their Annual Convention, which will be integrated with their Professionals Training Conference.

The conference will provide valuable training, CPD, and networking opportunities for all humanist professionals – celebrants, pastoral carers, school speakers – and those aspiring to become one.

Find out more about the convention and conference.

University of Loughborough and Law Society report: Priced out of Justice? Legal Aid Means Test

The Law Society logo

‘The legal aid means test is preventing families in poverty from accessing justice’ says a March 2018 report (PDF) from the University of Loughborough and Law Society. 

This report considers whether people required by the civil legal aid system to contribute to legal costs, based on their income and assets, can always afford to do so.

The report finds:

At the maximum level of disposable income at which legal aid is allowed, households have too little income to reach a minimum standard of living even before footing any legal bills. Typically, they have disposable incomes 10% to 30% too low to afford a minimum budget
Individuals with gross income above the £2,657 a month limit could generally afford to contribute a substantial amount to legal costs. However, some people with this level of gross income who are supporting families have incomes below the minimum, mainly because gross income includes tax credits and benefits, which contribute to meeting the cost of additional family members
Those with above £316 a month in adjusted disposable income may receive legal aid but must contribute to their costs. This excludes almost all households where anyone works, and is roughly equivalent to the level of means-tested benefits, whose recipients receive full legal aid regardless of income.
Read the full report (PDF). 

European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless report: Third Overview of Housing Exclusion in Europe 2018

European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless logo

The profiles of homeless people are changing, with children becoming the largest group of people in emergency shelters as a result of a deterioration in the living conditions of extremely vulnerable families.

This from the March 2018 annual report (PDF) from the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA)

This report reveals how millions of Europeans face housing exclusion on a daily basis as well as a dramatic picture of increasing homelessness across most of the EU – in particular amongst children, women and migrants.

The report finds:

In France, 20,845 people called the 115 homeless helpline requesting accommodation (in June 2017)
Dublin City Council spent € 39 million on hotel nights for homeless people in 2016, while € 10.7 million was spent on prevention and supported housing
In Britain, 29% of spending was on temporary accommodation and (44% of which was spent on hotels/Bed and Breakfast) and 61% on housing services (between 2015-2016)
Over the last number of years, only two European countries (Finland and Norway) have seen a reduction in the number of homeless people
Read the full report (PDF).

Migrant Rights Network guidance: Know Your Rights

Migrants Rights Network

As part of the School Census, schools are now required by the Department for Education to collect the nationality and country of birth of children aged 5 – 19.

This is from the March 2018 guidance from the Migrant Rights Network which aims to help migrants understand their rights and how to assert them in 8 key areas of everyday life.

This guide is to help all migrants living in the UK understand their rights in a situation where immigration rules are changing regularly.

The guidance finds:

Since 30 October 2017, banks and building societies have had to do immigration checks on all customers every 3 months. If they discover that you might be in the UK without permission they must tell the Home Office
Since 2014, the Driving and Vehicle Licence Agency (DVLA) is not allowed to give you a driving licence if you are not ‘lawfully resident’ in the UK. The DVLA does not have to let you know if they cancel your licence. This means you may not find out you are driving illegally until you are stopped by the police
Some schools have been asking to see children’s passports. This is against government guidance. Other schools have only asked for the nationality and country of birth of non-white children. This is discriminatory and therefore illegal.
Read the full guidance (pdf).

UNISON guidance: How to be a Good Ally to Trans People at Work

The UNISON logo.

‘Every non-trans person can be an ally for trans equality, but not
everyone feels confident doing this. It’s not complicated’.

This is from the March 2018 guidance (PDF) from UNISON on supporting trans people in the workplace.

The guidance recommends:

Speak up when there are no trans people present. Transphobia is always wrong and shouldn’t be ignored
Misgendering someone or using their previous name (sometimes called ‘deadnaming’) is hurtful and may be unlawful harassment
Try not to make assumptions. Although there aren’t many trans people (which is why allies are so important) they are all individual. There is no one way of being trans.
Read the guidance (pdf).

The Equality Trust manifestos: For a Fairer UK

‘The UK is one of the most unequal countries in the developed world’ says the March 2018 Equality Trust manifesto.

Equality Trust have published their National, Local and Individual Manifestos designed to help people across the UK take action to reduce inequality. 

The manifestos states: 

We must protect and progress workers’ rights: strengthen trade union rights
and introduce employment rights from day one
We must explore the most effective ways of distributing wealth fairly and
efficiently: establish an independent Commission on Wealth
We must end child poverty: reinstate child poverty targets and commit to
eliminating child poverty
We must tackle our housing crisis: establish a large scale house building
programme, prioritising social housing and truly affordable housing,
built to high quality and environmentally friendly standards. 
Find out more about the Equality Trust’s manifestos. 

Read the manifesto in full (pdf).