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Widespread inequality risks increasing race tension

EHRC

Healing a divided Britain

Failure to tackle deep-rooted race inequality will exacerbate divisions in our society unless urgent Government action is taken, the Commission’s Chair, David Isaac has warned.

The Commission has published the biggest ever review into race equality in Britain across every aspect of people’s lives, including education, employment, housing, pay and living standards, health, criminal justice and participation. It reveals that while for certain people life has become fairer over the past five years, for others progress has stalled and for some– in particular young Black people – life on many fronts has got worse.

David Isaac said: ‘We need to build a fair society in which our origins do not determine our destinies.

‘We agree with the Government that we must urgently lift our ambitions and are determined to work with the new Prime Minister to redouble efforts to build a fair society.’

The Prime Minister has recently announced an audit of racial and socio-economic disparities in public services and used examples highlighted in our race report.

‘Healing a divided Britain – the need for a comprehensive race equality strategy’

Reporting race hate crime

New report calls for urgent action and more protection for pregnant women in the workplace

The Women and Equalities Committee has asked for UK women to have protections similar to those in Germany following research from the Commission and the Department formerly known as Business, Innovation and Skills, which found an increase in workplace pregnancy discrimination over the past decade. The Commission will be sharing details of its progress against recommendations in the coming months.

Deputy Chair Caroline Waters said:
‘This important report shines a light on an issue of increasing concern. We urge the government to raise its game and work with greater vigour to tackle the problem or risk hundreds of thousands of women continuing to suffer discrimination at work every year.

‘We are pleased the Committee has adopted our recommendations to improve access to justice calling for an extension on the three month time limit for tribunal claims, and tackling the barriers caused by high tribunal fees.

‘We also support the call for stronger day one rights for parents such as employers offering all jobs flexibly unless there is a reasonable justification not to.’

If you have any questions about this work, please contact pregnancy@equalityhumanrights.com

UN concerned about spike in race hate crime

In a new race report the UN have focussed on a worrying rise in hate crime in the weeks before and after the EU referendum vote.

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said that leading political figures should have done more to stop ‘divisive’ and ‘anti-immigrant’ rhetoric and backed the Commission’s call for wide-ranging action to better deter and punish offenders.

The ability of ethnic minorities to have fair and effective access to justice was also raised by the Committee, as well as recommendations to help tackle racial discrimination in the areas of health employment and education.

Read the statement by our Chair David Isaac in response to the UN report

Have your say – gender pay gap reporting for public sector employers

The Government has launched a public consultation on how gender pay gap reporting can be applied to public sector organisations, such as the NHS, local authorities and the civil service. The consultation will be open until Friday 30 September.

The Government is already delivering on its commitment to make larger private and voluntary sector organisations publish the difference between the average earnings of their male and female employees. Transparency will shine a light on unfair discrepancies and help drive the culture change we need.
Separate regulations will be introduced for large employers in the public sector. This consultation sets out further details of the proposed reporting requirements and the public bodies that will be subject to the regulations.

If you have any questions about the consultation please email the Government Equalities Office at: genderpaygappublicsector@geo.gov.uk

Sharing best practice to increase the number of women on company boards

Earlier this year we published the findings from our inquiry into FTSE 350 board appointments. The inquiry examined the reasons why many companies are still failing to improve the gender diversity of their boards, despite the obvious business benefits.

In order to help organisations overcome obstacles and ensure fair selection practices, we produced some practical guidance ‘How to improve board diversity: a six step guide to good practice’ which has been well received by businesses.

During the autumn we’ll be taking part in an extensive range of events and workshops to share our guidance and encourage best practice, including the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrator’s (ISCA) Inquiry findings: Improving board diversity.and the Whitehall and Industry Group Diversity and Inclusion Conference 2016. Our guest speaker will be John Sharman, Project Manager.

Read ‘How to improve board diversity: a six step guide to good practice’

How to position your business to take advantage of diversity:

Institute of Director’s (IoD’s) breakfast event in Manchester.

Date: 28 September 2016, 8.00am – 10.00am
Price: IoD members free of charge; non-members £25 plus VAT

Diversity is not just important at board level, but throughout an organisation. It’s been proven time and again that it’s good for individuals teams and it’s great for business, but getting it to work – that’s the tricky bit.

This IoD Manchester breakfast event will show you the best way to create an inclusive environment suited to getting the most out of the diversity in your team, with speakers covering disability, pregnancy and maternity cover, and the law.

Join Quinn Roache, Project Manager from the Commission, who will be speaking at the event.

Book your places through the IoD website or by calling 0161 247 7634.

Scotland Director leads UK delegation to UN in Geneva

The Director of EHRC Scotland, Alastair Pringle, led the UK delegation of national human rights institutions giving evidence to the UN Convention for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in Geneva.

During the session, Alastair called for all schools in England, Scotland and Wales to collect data on identity-based bullying across all the protected characteristics.

News: EHRC Scotland raises identity based bullying in Scottish schools with UN

Find out more about our work on the Convention for the Elimination on Racial Discrimination.

News from Scotland

Scotland Committee vacancies

Would you like to join us in making Scotland a fairer and more equal place? We’re looking for three members to join our Scotland Committee.

Being a Scotland Committee Member offers you a unique opportunity to influence and support the equality and human rights agenda in Scotland. This role is about working creatively, as part of the Scottish EHRC Committee, to tackle discrimination and promote human rights in Scotland. At the same time, you will play a major part in ensuring Scotland’s distinct voice informs one of Britain’s most forward thinking organisations.

The closing date for applications is 29 September 2016.

Find out more and download an application pack.

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