House of Commons Library briefing paper: Workers Underpaid the Minimum Wage

The House of Commons logo.

The true extent of underpayment is very difficult to estimate, but a range of 1 to 2 million underpaid workers is likely, or between 4% and 9% of employees aged 25 and above.

This is according to the February 2018 briefing paper (pdf) from the House of Commons Library, which looks at what is known about workers paid less than the minimum wage. 

The paper finds:

HMRC found 98,150 underpaid workers in 2016/17. This was an increase of 69% from 2015/16, and the largest annual total on record
Data from the LFS indicates that 77% of those who usually do one or more hours of unpaid work per week are not paid a fixed hourly rate. In other words, most unpaid time is done by employees on a salary
For the same reason, ASHE does not capture the informal economy, for example, work paid cash in hand. Informal work is likely to have a higher rate of non-compliance with the minimum wage.

Mencap campaign report: Treat Me Well

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‘1 in 3 healthcare professionals think people with a learning disability receive worse quality healthcare than those without’. This is according to the February 2018 campaign report (pdf) from Mencap. Treat Me Well aims to transform how the NHS treats people with a learning disability in hospital.

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).

Institute for Fiscal Studies report: Wage Progression and the Gender Wage Gap – the Causal Impact of Hours of Work

logo for Institute For Fiscal Studies

The hourly wages of female employees are currently about 20% lower than men’s on average, having been 23% lower in 2003 and 28% lower in 1993.

This is from the February 2018 report (pdf) from the Institute for Fiscal Studies on the gender wage gap.

The report finds: 

The gender wage gap widens gradually but significantly from the late 20s and early 30s
Gender differences in rates of part-time and full-time paid work account for approximately half of the widening of the gender wage gap over the 20 years after the first child in a family is born
There is, on average, a wage gap of around 10% even shortly before the arrival of the first child.
Read the full report (pdf).

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

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‘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

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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).

McKinsey and Company report: Delivering through Diversity

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‘Black women potentially suffer a double burden of bias that keeps them from the uppermost levels of corporate leadership’.

This is according to a January 2018 report (pdf) from McKinsey and Company. This report tackles the business case and provides a perspective on how to take action on inclusion and diversity to impact growth and business performance.

This work sheds light on how companies can use diversity as an enabler of business impact.

It also articulates a clear opportunity for companies to promote inclusion and diversity in senior decision-making roles, and specifically in line roles on executive teams.

The report finds:

The statistically significant correlation between a more diverse leadership team and financial outperformance demonstrated three years ago continues to hold true on an updated, enlarged, and global data set
Companies in the top-quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 21% more likely to outperform on profitability and 27% more likely to have superior value creation
Companies in the top-quartile for ethnic/cultural diversity on executive teams were 33% more likely to have industry-leading profitability
Overall, companies in the bottom quartile for both gender and ethnic/ cultural diversity were 29% less likely to achieve above-average profitability than were all other companies in McKinsey and Company’s data set.
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).