Grandparents Plus report on grandparents, childcare and employment

In December 2011, Grandparents Plus published ‘Doing it all? Grandparents, childcare and employment: An analysis of British Social Attitudes Survey Data from 1998 and 2009’.

The analysis shows that:

  • Young grandmothers aged under 50, are the most likely to provide childcare , but overall most childcare is provided by grandmothers aged 55 to 64, the very group who in future will have to stay in work longer, followed by grandparents aged and 65 to 74.
  • Most grandmothers who provide childcare are retired or not working, but working grandparents (both grandmothers and grandfathers) are more likely to say they provide care, reflecting the fact that there are many more grandparents who are retired or not working than those who are still working.

By Sarah Wellard

Click here for report (pdf)

Click here for Grandparents Plus website

UKREN briefing: ‘Social Inclusion for migrants and ethnic minorities

UKREN UK Race and Europe Network

In November 2011, the UK Race and Europe Network (UKREN) published a briefing paper on ‘Social Inclusion for migrants and ethnic minorities: Is the UK meeting its European obligations?’

The paper, written by Emily Churchill, discusses the UK’s response to the social inclusion targets set out in the Europe 2020 Strategy, and its implications for ethnic minorities and migrants.

Click here for link (pdf)

Lords Committee report on legal aid proposals

The House of Commons logo.

On 17 November 2011, the House of Lords Constitution Committee published a report on Part 1 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill.

This is the part of the Bill which deals with legal aid. The Committee states that the extent of the proposed cuts to legal aid, and the manner in which they are to be delivered, raises issues around important constitutional principles of access to justice.

Click here for details

Employment law reform: consultation response and Employment Tribunal review


On 23 November, the Government published its response to the consultation on ‘Resolving workplace disputes’. The Equality and Diversity Forum responded to the consultation in April 2011.

The Government’s response to the consultation confirms the proposals it intends to take forward, such as extending the qualifying period for unfair dismissal, and announces the intention to go further by undertaking a Fundamental Review of the current Rules of Procedure for Employment Tribunal.

The consultation was launched by the Department for Business, Skills & Innovation (BIS) and the Ministry of Justice’s Tribunals Service on 27 January and closed on 20 April 2011. It was launched alongside an Employer’s Charter that ‘aims to dispel many of the myths about what an employer can and can’t do in managing their staff reasonably, fairly and lawfully, providing clarity for employers on what steps they can take when handling workplace issues with staff. It covers a wide range of employment law scenarios’.

The consultation asked for views on measures to:

  • achieve more early resolution of workplace disputes so that parties can resolve their own problems, in a way that is fair and equitable for both sides, without having to go to an employment tribunal;
  • ensure that, where parties do need to come to an employment tribunal, the process is as swift, user-friendly and effective as possible; and
  • help businesses and social enterprises feel more confident about hiring people.

Click here for speech by Business Secretary Vince Cable, given on 23 November 2011, outlining legislative changes to the employment law framework

Click here for Equality and Diversity Forum and other response to the consultation

Click here for piece by Sarah Veale, Head of the Equality and Employment Rights Department at the TUC arguing that ‘Employment Rights are not bad for business’

Report on hate crimes in the OSCE region


In November 2011, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) published  the 2010 edition of ‘Hate Crimes in the OSCE Region – Incidents and Responses’.

The report shows that hate crime remains a significant problem across the OSCE region, undermining personal, neighbourhood and state security, and eroding confidence across and among communities. People were killed, injured or otherwise harmed when they were targeted in 2010 for no other reason than being perceived as belonging to a specific ethnic, ‘racial’, religious or other group. Combating hate crime must, therefore, remain a priority.

Click here for press release

Click here for report (pdf)

ECU report on disability equality in higher education

Equality Challenge Unit logo

In November 2011, Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) published ‘Meeting the Equality Act 2010: learning from disability equality schemes in higher education in England.

The report is based on research into how higher education institutions in England had been using their disability equality schemes as vehicles for change, and to establish what more can be learned from approaches which successfully meet the duties within equality law.

Click here for details

Independent audit of the Government’s Big Society

Civil Exchange

Civil Exchange is conducting an independent audit of the Government’s Big Society – the first comprehensive assessment of how far community empowerment, social action and the opening up public services is being achieved.

The Audit’s first report is expected to be published early in 2012 and will bring key data together to measure how far, in practice, a genuine transfer of power from government to civil society is taking place. Civil Exchange will be carrying out the Audit in collaboration with the independent research organisation, Democratic Audit, and the social policy communications agency, DHA.

The Big Society Audit is funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

Established in 2011, Civil Exchange is a think tank which aims to be:

  • A catalyst to help civil society and government work together in new ways.
  • A resource for research, policy development, capacity building, awareness-raising and exchange, which brings together existing expertise and knowledge.

It acts as a ‘link tank,’ working with other organisations and individuals to generate new ideas and soluti

Click here for details

Paper: ‘Equality and Human Rights Commissions in the UK and Ireland’


‘Equality and Human Rights Commissions in the UK and Ireland: Challenges and Opportunities Compared’ by Colin Harvey and Sarah Spencer was published in November 2011.

The paper provides background information on the statutory human rights and equality bodies in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Britain, and analysis of the factors that impact on their operation.

Click here for link (pdf)

Report on ‘The Position of Scotland’s Equality Groups’

The Scottish Government logo

‘The Position of Scotland’s Equality Groups: Revisiting Resilience in 2011’ was published in September 2011 by Scottish Government Social Research.

The study seeks to offer discussion and analysis to inform an understanding of how well positioned people in Scotland with equalities characteristics are to access the benefits of economic recovery.

Click here for details

Click here for link to publication (pdf)