The Trades Union Congress launched a survey into Racism at Work in January 2017. Racism at Work can take many forms, from facing racial harassment at a work to being denied access to promotion or training. The TUC is asking non-unionised as well as unionised workers to complete the survey. They are also keen to hear from anyone who has witnessed any form of racial harassment or discrimination.
Stonewall published their Workplace Equality Index in January 2017, identifying the most inclusive employers in Britain.
The Index measures measure performance and progress towards LGBT equality in the workplace. Participating employers demonstrate their work in ten areas of employment policy and practice, from training to community engagement. At the same time, staff from across each organisation complete an anonymous survey about their experiences at work.
The 2018 Index will be the first in a new three-year cycle; fully integrating gender identity criteria.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is seeking to commission research on the design of social security systems based on the concepts of dignity and respect. The deadline for tenders is 1pm on 2 February 2017.
The aims of this project are:
- To provide EHRC Scotland with evidence of aspects of social security systems elsewhere that offer examples of best practice and could be said to be founded on the principles of dignity and respect.
- To provide evidence on how these mechanisms have been devised, implemented and measured elsewhere, and how these could potentially be applied to Scotland’s new social security system.
Access full details on the EHRC procurement portal.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published an update to the 2009 Trans Data Position Paper in January 2017. This built on the need for gender identity data identified in the 2021 Census topic consultation.
The update covered legislation, the Women and Equalities Committee Transgender Equality inquiry, data collection and question development worldwide, along with details of ONS research, testing and findings so far.
The Women and Equalities Committee launched an inquiry in January 2017 as new research reveals that many fathers do not feel supported in the workplace to care for their children.
Chair of the Committee, Maria Miller MP, said: “Following our work on the Gender Pay Gap, the Women and Equalities Committee is now asking whether fathers are being failed in the workplace. Clearly more needs to be done. We are keen to hear views from individuals as well as organisations about the changes which they would like to see.”
The inquiry also comes as Working Families and Bright Horizons launch their Modern Families Index 2017, which captures a broad picture of fathers wanting to take an active part in childcare and of workplaces failing to adapt and support their aspirations.
The Committee is receiving written submissions from both organisations and individuals. Submissions should be received by 1 March 2017.
Oxfam published a report on income inequality, ‘An economy for the 99%,’ in January 2017. The report noted that just eight men own the same wealth as the poorest half of the world.
Oxfam provided a blueprint for an alternative economic model, in which:
- Governments work for the 99%;
- Governments cooperate, not just compete;
- Companies work for the benefit of everyone;
- Extreme concentration of wealth is ended, to end extreme poverty;
- The economy works equally for men and women;
- Technology will be harnessed for the interests of the 99%;
- The economy is powered by sustainable renewable energy; and,
- We value and measure what really matters.
Working Families and Bright Horizons published their 2017 Modern Families Index in January 2017. The report captures a broad picture of fathers wanting to take an active part in childcare and of workplaces failing to adapt and support their aspirations.
The report found that quarter of fathers that took part in the study drop their children at school or nursery every day; with just over a quarter (26%) collecting them more than half the time.
Furthermore the report found that seven out of ten fathers work flexibly to fulfil their caring responsibilities. However, for half of the fathers spoken to, their work-life balance is increasingly a source of stress. A third of fathers feel burnt out regularly and one in five fathers are doing extra hours in the evening or weekends all the time.
In addition to the report the organisations have produced a summary.
The Women and Equalities Committee launched an enquiry, ‘Are fathers being failed in the workplace?‘, resulting from this report as well as their previous findings when researching the gender pay gap.
The London School of Economics (LSE) Gender, Inequality and Power Commission published an update to their 2015 report on gender inequality in January 2017. The report, ‘Confronting Gender Inequality in Uncertain Times,’ focused on developments in economy, politics, law and media.
Five recommendations were made:
- Gender sensitive macroeconomic policies;
- Adequate provision of monitoring and training via gender analysis, audits and budgets;
- Quotas and targets to ensure more balanced representation in decision-making: “the burden of the argument should now shift from the under-representation of women to the unjustifiable over-representation of men”;
- Policies to end the gender pay gap; and
- Policies to recognise, support and finance care work.
Read responses to the original report.
The Department of Health published their third progress report of the suicide prevention strategy in England in January 2017. This report noted that addressing suicide and its prevention is a key part of Government’s ambition to tackle the inequalities caused by poor mental health.
The report addressed recommendations made by the Health Select Committee (HSC) inquiry into suicide prevention, and updated the 2012 strategy in 5 main areas:
- expanding the strategy to include self-harm prevention in its own right;
- every local area to produce a multi-agency suicide prevention plan;
- improving suicide bereavement support in order to develop support services;
- better targeting of suicide prevention and help seeking in high risk groups; and
- improve data at both the national and local levels.
These updates are intended to meet the recommendations of the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health relevant to suicide prevention: to reduce the number of suicides by 10% by the year ending March 2021 and for every local area to have a multi-agency suicide prevention plan in place by the end of 2017.
The Women and Equalities Committee (WEC) produced a report on women in the House of Commons after the 2020 election in January 2017. This report argued that “the under-representation of women MPs does not only represent a serious democratic deficit; it also means that the UK is missing out on the benefits of having gender balance in its highest decision-making body.”
The Committee noted that only 30% of sitting MPs are women, and that “The UK ranks only 48th globally for representation of women in the lower or single legislative chamber, having fallen from 25th place in 1999.”
- The Government should set a domestic target of 45% for representation of women in Parliament and local government by 2030 in response to the UN indicators for Sustainable Development Goal 5.5.
- The Government should seek to introduce in legislation a statutory minimum proportion of female parliamentary candidates in general elections for each political party, a 45% minimum.
- Parties that fail to comply with this target need to face sanctions for the quota to be effective. The Government should consider a range of possible sanctions.
- The Government should immediately bring into force the statutory requirement for political parties to publish their parliamentary candidate diversity data for general elections, as set out in Section 106 of the Equality Act 2010.
- The Government should bring forward legislative proposals to empower the Electoral Commission to collect and host this diversity data, to ensure consistency and transparency from political parties.