Thursday, 21 October 2010

Race discrimination campaign stepped up by Unite

Unite the Union for Life today issued the following "News Release"

Unite races forward to tackle discrimination
21 October 2010

With concern mounting that the coalition cuts will give rise to greater social inequality, Unite – the UK’s biggest union – is stepping up efforts to deal with race inequality in UK workplaces.

Unite says that there is already a 15 per cent gap between the employment rates of black, Asian and ethnic minority workers and their white colleagues (see ONS - Disadvantaged groups in the labour market). And last year, nearly 6,000 race discrimination cases were heard by Employment Tribunals, with countless more being settled before that stage, reflecting the extent of race equality issues at work today (see Employment Tribunal and EAT statistics 2009-10). The union says that, using the provisions of the new Equality Act, union reps can make real improvements in the treatment for minority ethnic workers.

Collette Cork-Hurst, Unite national officer for equalities, said that, with black workers more likely to join a union than others, Unite is determined to improve workplace race equality for its members: Unfortunately, discrimination against black workers at work continues to blight today’s labour market. Black, Asian and ethnic minority workers find it harder to find decent employment and sadly, too many then encounter discrimination once at work.

“Black people and their families will be particularly hurt by the coalition cuts but Unite is determined they get the fairer treatment they deserve at work.

"October is Black History Month so while we celebrate the contributions black, Asian and ethnic minorities have made and continue to make to our society, it is also fitting that we continue to press forward on equality

"Unite’s ‘Race Forward’ campaign will help us take real action. We are determined that our union reps are equipped to take discrimination issues up with employers, if need be using the legal backing of the new Equality Act to ensure the decent treatment of our members.”

Unite’s ‘Race Forward’ action pack guides workplace union representatives through a five-point action plan on key employment issues facing black people such as racial discrimination in recruitment, promotion and pay, as well as dealing effectively with racial harassment and bullying.

Notes about the Unite News Release:

The Race Forward campaign concentrates on 8 key priority areas and the Action Pack with 5 action points for each area:

Closing the ethnic minority employment gap
Tackling the pay gap for black workers
Fighting for equality of opportunity in promotion
Dealing effectively with Racial Harassment, Discrimination and bullying
Promoting fairness for black women workers
Negotiating for Union Equality Reps
Ensuring fair treatment of migrant workers
Organising and recruiting black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAEM) workers into Unite the union
If your organisation is looking for Equality Training please visit the jml Training website/equality-act

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Equality Act Codes of Practice published

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has published the statutory guidance that will help employers, lawyers and courts to interpret the Equality Act. Three Codes of Practice were laid before Parliament on the 12th October 2010.

The Codes address employment; services, public functions and associations; and equal pay. They cover each of those three areas in relation to the Equality Act, using case law to outline exactly what each clause of the legislation means, the EHRC said.

The Codes are designed to provide detailed guidance to organisations about what the Equality Act means. Courts and tribunals must take the Codes into account in cases involving areas they cover.

The Codes are drafts but will come into force when a Government minister issues an order to that effect. This will happen if there is no opposition to them in Parliament.

The Codes have been prepared in consultation with stakeholders. The codes remain in draft form until such time as they have laid before Parliament for forty days without objection and the Government makes the Order bringing them into force.

Code of Practice on Equal Pay

Code of Practice on Employment

Code of Practice on Services, Public Functions and Associations

If your organisation is looking for Training on the Equality Act 2010 - Click Here

Comprehensive Spending Review The CIPD responds

The CIPD issued a press release at 2.30 Wednesday 20th October 2010 saying - CIPD responds to Comprehensive Spending Review: Excellent people management will be crucial in determining whether public services can survive the cuts

The unprecedented scale of change set out in the Government's Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) cannot be delivered without a concerted and committed focus on supporting, bolstering and improving public sector management capability, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Although employee morale and engagement is bound to suffer in the face of this scale of cuts, the CIPD is urging those with responsibility for public sector management - up to and including ministers - not to lose sight of the possibilities and opportunities to genuinely engage and enthuse public sector workers about new ways of working and to secure buy-in to new means of service delivery.

Research published by the CIPD on Monday, exploring public attitudes to possible post-CSR industrial action in the public sector, highlighted that striking workers would quickly lose sympathy amongst the wider public. However, Mike Emmott, employee engagement adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) warns that ministers cannot afford to take solace in these findings if the end result is a demotivated and disengaged public sector workforce:

"Our research shows unions cannot rely on public sympathy to face down the Government's cuts through sustained strike action. But equally, ministers cannot rely on limited enthusiasm for strikes to deliver their vision of reformed, streamlined and diversified public service delivery. The reality is more complicated. Front-line commitment and industrial harmony can only be delivered by persuasive messages about why the cuts are needed, and an unswerving focus on excellent day to day management of the 'survivors'. Effective and sustained change will only happen in organisations where senior leaders show a sustained commitment to building staff engagement to ensure there is buy-in to change and new ways of working."

Warning that the way people are engaged and managed will be the critical factor in determining whether the scaled back public sector set out in the CSR is still capable of delivering on ministerial and public expectations, Mike Emmott, says:

"Proposals to improve the autonomy and empowerment of front-line service workers will fail if front-line managers are not equipped with the skills to support these behaviours. Radical plans such as employee-led public sector co-operatives and a step-change in co-ordination and collaboration between local public service providers can only succeed if there is a sustained focus on building management capability. Our research consistently shows a high degree of loyalty amongst public service workers to the services they seek to provide, and the people they provide them to. That loyalty cannot be taken for granted over the next five years. Instead, it will need to be carefully nurtured and harnessed by inspiring managers, focused wholeheartedly on their management responsibilities if the promise of wholesale changes to methods of service delivery is to be realised.

"As an example, the success of government plans to transfer health service commissioning powers from Primary Care Trusts to GP consortiums in the face of 45% cuts to management will hinge on whether GPs are equipped with the leadership and management skills that will be so important to their new roles. GPs will need to have leadership skills to take charge of service commissioning, as well as the people management skills to manage and motivate employees and partners in other services to work collaboratively and deliver for patients.

"How these changes are managed and the extent to which employees feel they are consulted and have a voice will also be fundamental to whether they understand and buy-in to new ways of working."

Source: CIPD / The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development who are Europe's largest HR and development professional body with over 135,000 members, supporting and developing those responsible for the management and development of people within organisations.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

New CIPD Survey

The CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) issued a Press Release yesterday, 18th October 2010 in which they said:

Striking public sector workers will quickly lose public sympathy if they cause disruption to essential services, says quarterly CIPD survey of employee attitudes

Nearly three quarters of employees (74%) agree that, in light of the tough times endured by private sector staff through the recession, striking public sector workers will quickly lose sympathy if they cause disruption to the general public.

This is one of the headline findings from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development's (CIPD) latest quarterly Employee Outlook survey. The survey, based on a representative sample of 2,000 UK workers, shows six in ten public sector workers (59%) also believe they will lose support if they cause disruption to the public through strike action.

The survey suggests that, in advance of Wednesday's Comprehensive Spending Review announcement, the working public accepts the overall case for cuts. Almost two thirds of respondents (64%) agree with the statement that 'these are tough times and the deficit needs to be reduced through cuts to public spending', in contrast to 16% disagreeing. There is a marked difference in sectoral attitudes, with 69% of private sector staff agreeing with this statement compared to only 50% of those in the public sector.

Almost half of public sector workers (49%) agree with the statement 'workers have to do what's necessary to protect their jobs and if that disrupts public services, that's the price of living in a democratic society', compared to just 27% of those in the private sector.

Overall, just under half of respondents (48%) agree they are more concerned about the damage strikes would cause than about the impact of spending cuts, with 26% disagreeing. More than half (53%) of private sector respondents agree, compared to 36% of public sector staff.

The survey also shows:
• Half (49%) of employees agree that most people today are not willing to lose pay to go on strike, rising to 54% among public sector staff
• 36% of respondents agree unions provide essential protection for employees from bad management
• 43% of employees agree unions are 'good at pursuing their own political agendas rather than simply looking after the interests of their members'
• 28% of respondents agree unions are more relevant than ever during a time of recession and increased redundancies
• 37% of respondents agree that industrial action in essential services should be banned

Mike Emmott, CIPD Employee Relations Adviser, commented: "These findings show that it is not just the government that has to tread softly in terms of how spending cuts are implemented. The trade unions too must understand that many private sector employees have already suffered pay freezes or cuts, job losses and cuts to pension entitlement and will be sensitive to any rhetoric by union leaders threatening strike action which does not appear to appreciate the sacrifices already made by those in the private sector.

"However, the Government too must understand that it also has a key role to help prevent major public sector disputes though the language it uses and how information and messages are timed and communicated.

"The Comprehensive Spending Review announcement will create a lot of anxiety and uncertainty and it is essential that, as the details of job cuts and any changes to pay or pension provision are announced over the next few months, public sector employers are allowed the necessary time to communicate and consult on what changes are being planned, and just as crucially - why. People are much more likely to accept tough messages if they are given the right information at the right time and feel that their views have at least been heard and taken into account before decisions are made.

"When the private sector went through the recession there were many positive examples of how employers and unions worked together in partnership to keep people in jobs. Examples included making compromises over pay and increases in flexible working, as well as things like extended leave. Partnership working already flourishes in many parts of the public sector but the extent of the changes in the pipeline may well stretch this to the limit in some cases. However, effective partnership between unions and employers can make a powerful contribution to ensuring that the government's public sector reform agenda will be successful."

Other findings from the survey show:

• Union members are most likely to support strike action against a reduction in pay, with 8% saying they would strike regardless of whether all other remedies had failed and 41% saying they would strike only if all other remedies had failed
• In all 7% of union members say they would strike regardless of whether all other remedies had failed in protest at plans to reduce their pension entitlement while 35% say they would strike for this reason only if all other remedies had failed
• 5% of union members say they would strike regardless of whether all other remedies had failed in protest at plans to cut jobs while 33% say they would strike for this reason only if all other remedies had failed
• 3% of union members say they would strike regardless of whether all other remedies had failed in protest at plans to freeze pay while 26% say they would strike for this reason only if all other remedies had failed.

Motivating Europe’s Workforce

The Ken Blanchard Companies have just issued this News Release "Getting Engaged: A Masterclass in Motivating Europe’s Workforce"

It seems the vast majority of workers - and especially middle managers - have been getting more and more disengaged from their work during the recession. Surveys suggest performance management scores have fallen by 14%, a sharp drop that inevitably takes its toll on national productivity and profitability.

Scott Blanchard, Executive Vice President of The Ken Blanchard Companies and co-author of best selling books Leading at a Higher Level and Leverage Your Best, Ditch the Rest, will help organisations tackle this engagement deficit at a seminar on the issue in Frankfurt on December 9th.

"People who are disengaged might not actually quit, as they still show up for work every day, but they are sabotaging their organisations nonetheless," says Scott Blanchard. "When people join companies they're excited about their jobs and willing to work hard. Then over time motivation wanes, often because of poor relationships with their managers."

"In Germany alone, only 13% of employees are actively focused on their jobs, and 20% are completely disengaged ," he adds. "These are shocking statistics that must be tackled. I want to show businesses how to identify, invest in and motivate their high potential employees, so they stay on board and make active contributions."

Scott Blanchard will be joined by Gordon Pitman, Global Development Manager for AkzoNobel, who is rolling out a leadership management programme in more than 30 countries and 15 languages; and Ben Tiggellaar, the acclaimed author, entrepreneur and management guru, who will reveal how to discover and unleash your personal potential. Scott's father, 'One Minute Manager' Ken Blanchard will also make a video presentation.

The Engagement seminar will be held at Le Méridien Park Hotel in Frankfurt on Thursday 9th December. The cost is €150 Euros per person if booked before 31st October 2010, and €195 Euros thereafter. The seminar will be conducted in English.

The Ken Blanchard Companies provides leadership training programmes such as Situational Leadership® II - the world's most-widely taught leadership programme - executive coaching, change management consulting, and team-building solutions in more than 30 countries worldwide. The company was founded in 1979 by the best-selling business writer and co-author of The One Minute Manager®.

Want to get your Management team Motivated? Take a look at the selection of in-house courses available from jml Training. If we have not course displayed on the list, contact us and we can talk to you about how we can help. More Information HERE

Friday, 15 October 2010

Microsoft to be IT Training Awards Sponsor In February 2011

The IITT announced on the 14th October 2010 that Microsoft is the latest sponsor of the IT Training Awards, which are set to be held at the prestigious Dorchester Hotel, London on 3rd February 2011.

With 2011 marking the ceremony's 14th anniversary, the IT Training Awards recognise outstanding examples of high standards, best practice, innovation and excellence in Learning and Development.

Next year's ceremony will see Microsoft sponsor the award for 'Learning Technologies Solution of the Year' and according to Microsoft's Partner Channel Training Manager, Garry Corcoran, the Awards are pivotal in driving learning innovation. He said: "Microsoft Learning is excited to be supporting the IITT through the annual IT Training Awards. Engaging learning practitioners in developing innovative content and delivery methods is a requirement of us all to ensure that learners are provided with learning that is easy to access and as effective as it should be. These awards recognise the effort that goes into engaging with business and learners to identify and develop the most appropriate formats that provide learners an opportunity to interact with their learning and to be able to use that new knowledge effectively."

Microsoft is amongst a host of leading names supporting next year's ceremony. Colin Steed, Chief Executive, IITT, said: "Microsoft's involvement in the IT Training Awards is testament to the ceremony's success in recent years. The Awards are now firmly established as the benchmark for excellence throughout the IT training industry.

"Having been involved with the awards for a number of years it's always pleasing to see the quality of entries improve year on year, and this year is no exception. The judges will have great difficulty in picking the winners which makes for an exciting ceremony."

The IT Training Awards are free to enter and successful entrants will have their award stylishly presented at the Dorchester Hotel, London, in front of over 450 top industry professionals. The deadline for entries is Friday 29th October.

More information about the Institute of IT Training

The Institute of IT Training hosts the annual IT Training Awards to recognise outstanding examples of high standards, best practice, innovation and excellence within IT training.

The awards are presented at The Dorchester, Park Lane, London, at the Institute's prestigious Awards Dinner, held in the first Thursday of February each year.

The awards are now firmly established as the benchmark for excellence throughout the IT training industry. So if you are proud of your achievements and would like to win the recognition you deserve within the IT training profession, submit your entry and put your team in the spotlight at the IT training industry's night of the

The Institute of IT Training is a self-governing, not-for-profit professional body for training professionals. It was established in 1995 and since then has grown on an annual basis. In February 2010 the Institute completed a management buyout from membership and research organisation, the National Computing Centre and is now a self-governing body.

Today, the organisation has circa 3,500 individual members and 400 accredited corporate members.

Through a range of membership, certification, accreditation, events and bespoke consultancy services, the Institute focuses on enhancing and recognising the skills and professional status of individuals and organisations engaged in training activities, and assessing the quality of training services.

Is your company looking for Leadership and Team Building Training - Management Development Training - Coaching - Equality Act - Managing Projects Successfully? and a lot more...Then you need to look at our courses at and if there is not a course there that you need, you only have to Contact us to discuss your requirements.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Opel/Vauxhall and Raytheon win International German Training Award

13-Oct-2010 Raytheon Professional Services LLC (RPS), a subsidiary of Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN), has received the Bronze International German Training Award from the Association of German Sales Promoters, Trainers, Consultants and Coaches (BDVT). RPS won the prize for the retail sales consultant curriculum it designed, deployed and delivers on behalf of Opel/Vauxhall in Europe. The BDVT International German Training Award recognizes the best in innovative, cutting-edge training initiatives.

"The sales curriculum is an important element of the training services offered to the Opel/Vauxhall dealerships in Europe," said Opel/ Vauxhall Europe Training Manager Benoit Presle. "It is designed to improve the performance of sales consultants and support implementation of Opel/Vauxhall's European sales strategy. The program also helps our retail network successfully address the challenges of the current automotive market."

The sales curriculum is delivered in 34 countries and 22 languages across Europe. "In the highly competitive world of automotive retailing, it is imperative to provide sales consultants with high-quality, engaging training that leverages the cost efficiencies of a centralized solution," said RPS Account Director Neil Johnson.

More information: General Motors is one of the world's largest automakers. In Europe its vehicles are sold in more than 40 markets. It operates 10 vehicle production and assembly facilities in seven countries and employs about 50,000 people. Opel/Vauxhall is General Motors' leading brand in Europe.

Raytheon Company, with 2009 sales of $25 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 88 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 75,000 people worldwide.

jml Training - International Training Here

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

EHRC: Work towards equal pay halts

Continuing with the Equality Act theme on the jml Training blog, we have today come acroos the following article on the "Women in technology" website.

EHRC: Work towards equal pay has 'halted'
Work among businesses and the government to close the gender pay gap "appears to be grinding to a halt", the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has concluded.

It has published a new report, titled How fair is Britain?, compiling evidence on discrimination and disadvantage in the UK.

Among its findings, it revealed that long-standing inequalities such as equal pay between men and women have not yet been resolved.

This comes as the Equal Pay Act marks its 40th anniversary and while the new Equality Act is still in its first month.

Pay gap widens with age

According to the EHRC's figures, the average pay gap between the sexes in 2009 was 16.4 per cent, while women over 40 years earn 27 per cent less than their male counterparts.

However, the report did find that in some areas the gender divide is lessening, most notably in managerial and professional roles, although women are more likely to be employed in the public sector (40 per cent of women compared to 15 per cent of men).

One in three managerial roles in the UK is occupied by women, the report found.

Trevor Phillips, chair of the EHRC, commented: "This review holds up the mirror to fairness in Britain. It is the most complete picture of its kind ever compiled.

"It shows that we are a people who have moved light years in our attitudes to all kinds of human difference, and in our desire to be a truly fair society, but that we are still a country where our achievements haven't yet caught up with our aspirations."

He added that in the 21st century there is still a danger of "a society divided by the barriers of inequality and injustice".

Factors affecting the pay gap

What the report does stress, however, is that there are factors that contribute to the pay gap, including "lower pay in sectors where women are more likely to choose careers, the effect of career breaks and limited opportunities in part-time work".

"The level of earnings penalty is strongly mediated by levels of education but is not eliminated, even for the best-qualified women," it added.

This has led Tracy Corrigan, assistant editor of the Daily Telegraph, to suggest that lower pay is down to the choices women make and could now reflect the right level when periods away from work are considered.

Ms Corrigan suggested that a smaller gender pay gap still exists because women "aren't very good at asking for money".

In an article for the newspaper, she commented: "In my experience, men are much better at negotiating their pay, partly because they are healthily unembarrassed about asking for more, and partly because they tend to overestimate how much they are worth."

womenintechnology has a dedicated careers advice service for women, graduates and experienced professionals looking for technology and IT jobs.

See more of their Equal Opportunities articles and news reports HERE

Looking for Equal Opportunities Training? Find out more HERE

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Green Marketing at The Riviera Business Club

The autumn / winter season is now in full swing at the The Riviera Business Club -RBC south of France.

On the 30th September they held a meeting at Saint Peters Chapel, Top floor, Port de la Sante,in the picturesque village of Villefranche-sur Mer east of Nice.The subject was "Facebook as on-line marketing tool" presented by Nick Thain. Nick is one of the hottest Facebook marketeers in the UK and shared some of his insights how to be effective with your company on Facebook.

Next meeting on the agenda is "Green Marketing" on Thursday 21st October at Banque Populaire Côte d'Azur, 457 Promenade des Anglais, Main Building Arénas, Nice Aeroport.

If you have a Green Marketing strategy, attitude and behaviour, it will position you not only better in the market, but your customer's loyalty will grow as well. Petra Steinke will present recent examples how Green Marketing can work for your business AND how to use this in your PR communication.

Petra Steinke has 15 years multicultural experience in Journalism, Public Relations, Sales and Marketing. Her experience with corporations in media, publishing, consumer goods and pharmacy, positions her to execute in a wide variety of industry sectors. With unique experiences that cover international markets such as German, Italian, Austrian, French and North American Markets, her detailed skills at developing the right PR campaign is incomparable.

Petra is founder of NEWSBROKER® Public Relations provides international PR services. Since 2005, NEWSBROKER® specializes as a pioneer in the promotion of sustainable lifestyles and the success of eco-friendly enterprise.

Entrance fee for Members: 30 € euro. Non members: 40 € euro

Then on Tuesday November 9th 2010 the meeting is "Rachel Elnaugh is coming to town!"

This is a co-hosted event with the EPWN, the European Professional Women's Network. They are proud to welcome Rachel Elnaugh: Entrepeneur, Writer & Author, Business Speaker, Consultant & Mentor. 'Inspiring, motivating and helper entrepeneurs achieve business success. This evening is hosted by SKEMA Business School in Sophia Antipolis business park.

Rachel Elnaugh is the entrepreneur who created the market leading experiences brand Red Letter Days at age 24 - which grew from nothing, on a shoestring budget, into a £multi-million turnover household name. Red Letter Days' fall into administration in 2005, after the over-expansion of the business in 2002, gained much media exposure and Rachel wrote about her experiences of adversity in business in her 2007 book "Business Nightmares". The book has since become the handbook for business survival for many struggling entrepreneurs.

Rachel won an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2002 and she was shortlisted for the 2001 Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year Award along with Barbara Cassani, Jo Malone, Sly Bailey and Chey Garland.

Rachel's appearance as a "Dragon" on the first two series of BBCTV's Dragons' Den in 2005 secured her celebrity entrepreneur status, which has resulted in over 300 engagements as a speaker and celebrity guest in the Enterprise Sector over the past five years.

Rachel Elnaugh is currently

Non-Executive Chairman of market leading children's mural company Walltastic, which she has helped take from front room start-up to a £1million + turnover company, now exporting to 28 countries
Non-Executive Director for the social enterprise The Small Business Company CIC, which empowers disadvantaged youths through enterprise
Non-Executive Director of Sustainable Bakewell CIC, which drives awareness and initiates projects connected to sustainable living in Bakewell and the Peak District

If you are in business in the south of France and want to meet international colleagues for very imforative meetings then you should consider joining the Riviera Business Club.

Originally The British Chamber of Commerce which was started in 1994 by a group of young British business people wishing to promote exchange with their French counterparts. Although "British", the Chamber sought to encourage not only British and French companies and sole traders - already well represented in the area, but also other nationalities present on the Côte d'Azur who can join and take advantage of the business facilities and contacts they can offer.

jml Training and Consultancy are members of the Riviera Buisinnes Club.

For more information go to their website at or see the summary page Here

Employers need support to adapt to Equality Act

Press Information from The Employers' Forum on Disability "Employers need support to adapt to Equality Act, EHRC report reinforces"

A report out today (11 October 2010) from the Equality and Human Rights Commission reinforces how the statutory Codes of Practice for the Equality Act are needed to support employers in employing disabled people and serving disabled customers.

The EHRC's How Fair is Britain report is the first major study of its kind into the state of Britain's equality landscape. It brings together all available evidence about equality issues into one review.

The report shows that:

•Disabled men are substantially less likely to be in employment than in the past.
•Disabled people are twice as likely to report harassment in the workplace as non-disabled people.
•Children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) are substantially less likely to achieve 5 GCSE A-Cs as children without SEN.

Susan Scott-Parker, Chief Executive of Employers' Forum on Disability, said: "The statistics in this report make sobering reading. In many ways, they reinforce what we already know: the way the law is applied needs to make it easier for employers to get it right when employing disabled people.

"Otherwise, legal and regulatory frameworks will not address the causes of the inequality outlined in this report. Employers see the role of EHRC as being to ensure the quality of the law, and that is applied credibly and consistently

"Employers are still getting used to the very recent change in equality law. We look forward to the swift publication by EHRC and the Government Equalities Office of the Equality Act's statutory Codes of Practice on employment and access to goods, facilities and services.

"These Codes will support employers in employing disabled people and serving disabled customers. That is what will make a practical difference to the experience of disabled people.

More information about Employers' Forum on Disability

Employers' Forum on Disability is the employers' organisation focused on disability as it affects employers and service providers. With over 400 members, EFD represents organisations that employ around 20 per cent of the UK workforce.Since its establishment in 1991, EFD has worked closely with government and other stakeholders, sharing best practice to make it easier to employ disabled people and serve disabled customers

See also: EFD says Employers need help with Equality Act

The Equality Act 2010 - Are you compliant? Find out here how jml Training can help your organisation

EFD says Employers need help with Equality Act

The HR Review has today reported on the fact

The Employers' Forum on Disability (EFD) has called on the government to do more to help businesses adapt to the provisions contained within the recent Equality Act to ensure that more disabled people find work.

Responding to the Equality and Human Rights Commission's How Fair is Britain report, EFD chief executive Susan Scott-Parker suggested that companies are struggling to come to terms with the legislation and need additional assistance.

"The way the law is applied needs to make it easier for employers to get it right when employing disabled people," she explained. "Employers are still getting used to the very recent change in equality law."

Ms Scott-Parker added that the impending publication of statutory codes of practice relating to the Equality Act should help to clear up some of the confusion and reduce discrimination in the workplace.

Earlier this month, Brethertons employment solicitor Michelle Morgan warned that businesses may experience teething problems in the early stages of the Equality Act's introduction.

Source:HR Review

The Equality Act 2010 - Are you compliant? Find out here how jml Training can help your organisation

Monday, 11 October 2010

How fair is Britain? Equality Commission launches landmark report

11th October 2010

Commission launches landmark report: 'How fair is Britain?'

A landmark report released today by the Commission paints a picture of a largely tolerant and open-minded society, in which some equality gaps have closed over the past generation.

But ‘How fair Is Britain?’, the most comprehensive compilation of evidence on discrimination and disadvantage ever compiled in Britain, also shows that other long-standing inequalities remain undiminished; and that new social and economic fault-lines are emerging as Britain becomes older and more ethnically and religiously diverse. The Review also identifies recession, public service reform, management of migration and technological change as major risk factors in progress towards a fairer society.

The first in a series of reports laid before Parliament every three years, ‘How fair is Britain?’ draws on a range of major datasets and surveys, as well as the Commission's own research reports, to build a portrait of Britain in 2010. The 700-page report provides the independent evidence and benchmarks for reviewing the state of social justice.

And it identifies five critical ‘gateways to opportunity’ which the Commission says can make the difference between success and failure in life: Health and Well-being: Education and Inclusion; Work and Wealth; Safety and Security; and Autonomy and Voice

The Commission's findings cover all seven areas of formal discrimination set out in law: age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation and transgender status. For the first time, it analyses the gaps in treatment and achievement of these seven social groupings beyond solely economic outcomes - by including factors such as personal autonomy and political influence (‘voice’) alongside education, health, standard of living and personal safety.

The three yearly assessment in the Review, mandated by the Equality Act 2006 will:

provide an evidence base to ensure that action to tackle inequality and ensure fairness is properly targeted
ensure that scarce resources are used in order to protect the vulnerable and disadvantaged from the worst effects of recession, deficit reduction and public service reform
set objective benchmarks to assess the ‘fairness factor’ in public policy

The report finds that over recent years, public attitudes have become much more tolerant of diversity, and much less tolerant of discrimination. This can be seen in relation to most of the major equality characteristics, including race, gender and sexual orientation.

Opposition to working for an ethnic minority boss or inter-ethnic marriages has dropped; stereotypical views about the roles that men and women should play in family and society have become less prevalent. And perhaps the most dramatic change is in relation to LGB people: a gap of less than 20 years separated the parliamentary debates about Section 28 and civil partnership.

Evidence suggests that the public is strongly in favour of the generic principles of equality, dignity and respect for all. This consensus was reflected by each of the main political parties, which went into the 2010 General Election with some form of explicit commitment to equality.

However, the Review also highlights areas of anxiety. There is evidence that the public thinks that both racial and religious prejudice are on the increase, though this may reflect heightened sensitivities. British people are broadly positive about the economic contribution of many immigrants, but the ‘immigration paradox’ remains: about three quarters of the public say that they are concerned about the scale of immigration at a national level - but about the same proportion feels that immigration is not a problem for their own communities.

The Review also highlights significant gaps in knowledge and data about particular groups - for example, transgender people - and the impact on our ability to tell whether the ideals of equality and fairness are being translated into a practical change for the better in these people’s real lives.

Trevor Phillips, Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission said:

“This Review holds up the mirror to fairness in Britain. It is the most complete picture of its kind ever compiled. It shows that we are a people who have moved light years in our attitudes to all kinds of human difference, and in our desire to be a truly fair society - but that we are still a country where our achievements haven't yet caught up with our aspirations.

“Sixty years on from the Beveridge report and the creation of the welfare state, his five giants of squalor, disease, ignorance, want and idleness have been cut down to size, though they still stalk the land.

“But in the 21st century we face a fresh challenge - the danger of a society divided by the barriers of inequality and injustice. For some, the gateways to opportunity appear permanently closed, no matter how hard they try; whilst others seems to have been issued with an ‘access all areas’ pass at birth. Recession, demographic change and new technology all threaten to deepen the fault lines between insiders and outsiders.

“Our Review has identified the five ‘great gateways’ to opportunity that could open the way to millions.”

The ‘gateways’ identified in the report are

1. Health and Well-being:

Men and women from the highest social class can expect to live up to seven years longer, on average, than those from lower socio-economic groups (based on life expectancy at birth).
Black Caribbean and Pakistani babies are twice as likely to die in their first year as Bangladeshi or White British babies.

2. Education and Inclusion:

Girls achieve better results than boys at age five in England, and at age 16 in England, Scotland and Wales, and in every ethnic group. In 2009 female university students outnumbered men by a ratio of roughly 4:3. Women are also more likely than men to get first-class or upper second-class degrees.

Girls and women tend to be concentrated in some courses which tend to lead to relatively poorly-rewarded jobs.
Forty-four per cent of Black, Indian and Pakistani students are at ‘new’ universities compared to 35 per cent of others. Eight per cent of Black students are at Russell Group institutions, compared to 24 per cent of White students.

Seventeen per cent of children with special educational needs get five good GCSEs including English and Maths, compared to 61 per cent of children without identified special needs.
At age five, 35 per cent of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals achieved a good level of development, compared to 55 per cent of pupils not eligible for free school meals.

Apart from Gypsy and Traveller children, the performance of White British boys on free school meals at GCSE is the lowest of any group defined by gender, free school meals status and ethnic group; by contrast the highest performing group at sixteen are Chinese girls, with those on free school meals outranking every other group except better-off Chinese girls.

3. Work and Wealth:

The mean gender pay gap for women and men working full-time in 2009 was 16.4 per cent; and progress today appears to be grinding to a halt. Women aged 40 earn on average 27 per cent less than men of the same age. Women with degrees are estimated to face only a four per cent loss in lifetime earnings as a result of motherhood, while mothers with no qualifications face a 58 per cent loss.

By the age of 22-24, figures suggest that 44 per cent of Black people are not in education, employment or training, compared to fewer than 25 per cent of White people. One in four Bangladeshi and Pakistani women work, compared with nearly three in four White British women, and only 47 per cent of Muslim men and 24 per cent of Muslim women are employed.
Pakistani and Bangladeshi men’s earnings fall 13 per cent and 21 per cent below what might be expected, and Black African Christian and Chinese men experience pay penalties of 13 per cent and 11 per cent.

Fifty per cent of disabled adults are in work, compared to 79 per cent of non-disabled adults.

4. Safety and Security:

Two-thirds of lesbian, gay and transgender secondary students report that they have been victims of often severe bullying (17 per cent of those bullied reported having received death threats). Homophobic bullying also seems to be more common in faith schools.
Domestic violence is associated with a higher rate of repeat-victimisation than any other kind of violent or acquisitive crime: in 2009/10, 76 per cent of all incidents of domestic violence in England and Wales were repeat offences.

The number of women prisoners has nearly doubled since 1995 in England and Wales, and since 2000 in Scotland.

On average, five times more Black people than White people are imprisoned in England and Wales and there is now greater disproportionality in the number of Black people in prisons in Britain than in the USA.

5. Autonomy and Voice:

One in eight people in England provide unpaid care to adults.
One in four women and nearly one in five men in their fifties are carers.
The number of people aged 65 and over with care and support needs is estimated to rise by 87 per cent between 2001 and 2051.
It is projected that due to the increasing age of the population, nearly 1.3 million disabled older people will require informal care by 2041 up by around 90 per cent.
175,000 people under 18 have caring responsibilities and a disproportionate number of young carers are from certain ethnic minority backgrounds (including Bangladeshi, Black African, Black Caribbean and Pakistani backgrounds).
Women represent less than a quarter of Westminster MPs and barely three in 10 councillors in England. Four per cent of Westminster MPs are from an ethnic minority background.

Source: Equality and Human Rights Commission

More information about Equality and Human Rights Commission

The Commission is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006, which took over the responsibilities of Commission for Racial Equality, Disability Rights Commission and Equal Opportunities Commission. It is the independent advocate for equality and human rights in Britain. It aims to reduce inequality, eliminate discrimination, strengthen good relations between people, and promote and protect human rights. The Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender status, and encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act. It also gives advice and guidance to businesses, the voluntary and public sectors, and to individuals .

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Pay gap between Men & Women halts

The Institute of leadership and Management - ILM has reported a news story today "Gender pay gap progress has halted"

The gap between the amount women and men earn has stopped closing, according to a new report.

According to the How Fair is Britain report, women aged 40 earn on average 27% less than men of the same age.

Motherhood also impacts on women's earning potential, with females with a degree facing a 4% loss in lifetime earnings. Mothers with no qualifications face a 58% loss, the report also shows.

The news comes just months after the charity Gingerbread found that a lack of family-friendly jobs is stopping single parents from returning to work.

Trevor Phillips, Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission said: "In the 21st century we face a fresh challenge - the danger of a society divided by the barriers of inequality and injustice."

However, the report also found that public attitudes have become much more tolerant of diversity and much less tolerant of discrimination.

Stereotypical views about the roles that men and women should play in family and society have become less prevalent, while opposition to working for a boss from an ethic minority has dropped.

Source: ILM

For More information See our Blog "Equality Commission launches landmark report: 'How fair is Britain?'"

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Friday, 8 October 2010

Large companies must embrace diversity

8th October 2010 - A week after the Equity Act became law there is a headline on the website "Corporations 'must embrace diversity'"

The report goes on to say "Large companies must embrace diversity if they are to cut costs and improve their products, according to business leaders.

The comments came at an awards ceremony for supplier diversity in which Pepsi scooped the 'corporation of the year' award, narrowly beating ExxonMobil.

"Despite significant progress over the last few years, the volume of business won by ethnic minority owned businesses in the UK remains small," said Sara Todd, chair of Minority Supplier Development UK (MSDUK) and executive director at Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD).

"In the US, companies have been far quicker to embrace supplier diversity and the resulting commercial benefits."

Ms Todd also encouraged minority-owned businesses to improve their professionalism and better understand the needs of large corporations.

Mayank Shah, Director of MSDUK, added: "Given the changing make up of the UK's population and the need to build a sustainable economic recovery, it's critical that diversity is debated at a national level.

"Discussions at the conference around the impact of the new Equality Act, the business case for diversity and processes to extend the supplier base were all keenly attended."

The Equality Act, which brought together nine separate pieces of equality legislation together, came into force last week.

Ethnic minorities were largely unaffected by the new law, which consolidated and cleared up various strands of legislation from previous decades.

Aspects relating to audits of firms in a bid to narrow the gender pay gap are still under review by the government, however, with an eye to avoiding placing any new demands on British business as the economy emerges from recession." is the leading specialist UK politics news website. Each month more than 300 new and original articles are written by our in house team of journalists attracting more than 100,000 unique visits from MPs, journalists and politically aware members of the public.'s strength lies in its unique blend of breaking political news and useful reference content covering everything from the workings of the political system to the key people and organisations in the world of politics. is politically neutral. It provides objective, factual and balanced political information. It is governed by an editorial policy that ensures all major arguments about a political issue are represented and that material is based on clearly identifiable is owned and run by Adfero Ltd, the UK's leading dedicated provider of online news

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Equality Act 2010 implementation welcomed by charity

"Charity welcomes implementation of the Equality Act 2010" 1st October 2010

The new Equality Act starts to come into force across Britain today.

Although it may seem like a lot of small changes, together they will make a big difference; helping Scotland too to become a fairer society, improving the public services we all use and helping business perform well.

The new Act, aimed at creating a society built on equality and fairness, will cover everyone; it simplifies our laws - consolidating over one hundred pieces of legislation into one practical act - and makes it easier for us to treat other people fairly.

The new legislation protects everyone to some extent, as people have several of the characteristics it covers, namely age, race, religion and belief, sex (meaning gender) and sexual orientation; and some people also have the protected characteristics of disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity.

Under the Act, people are not allowed to discriminate, harass or victimise another person because they belong to a group that the Act protects, are thought to belong to one of those groups or are associated with someone who does.

Age Scotland spokesperson Lindsay Scott says: "We know that despite the great leaps forward in terms of tackling discrimination and changing attitudes over the last thirty years, many old inequalities remain and new and emerging challenges exist.

"A fixed date for implementation has yet to be determined for protection from age discrimination in access to goods, facilities and services and the public sector equality duty, and we would like to see this happen sooner rather than later. However, we welcome this additional tool for building a fairer society."

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has released an online starter guide to the legislation for employers and service providers. The guide contains nine bite-size modules which set out the essential.

Source: Age Concern Scotland

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Thursday, 7 October 2010

40 Years after “Made in Dagenham” employees get a new weapon in the fight for equal pay - The Equality Act 2010

Press Release from Government Equalities Office - 1st October 2010

"Equality Act: Four decades after the “Made in Dagenham**” pioneers, employees get a new weapon in the fight for equal pay"

On the day a new film is released that tells the story of how a group of 1960s women fought for equal pay, today’s workers have won new rights that will help to stamp out pay discrimination.

Most provisions of the 2010 Equality Act take effect from today (1 October), including a measure to stop pay secrecy clauses being used to hide unfair differences between what men and women are paid.

The change in the law coincides with the release of “Made in Dagenham,” a British film about the women of the Ford assembly plant in East London who, in 1968, launched a campaign to demand equal pay. Their actions led to the creation of the 1970 Equal Pay Act.

Around 90 per cent of the Act comes into force today, making the law simpler by bringing together nine pieces of legislation under a single banner. The Government will announce in due course its plans for the remaining parts of the Equality Act not due to be implemented on 1 October.

Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equality Theresa May met four of the original strikers last week .

She said: “Thanks to pioneers like the women who feature in “Made in Dagenham,” the workplace is much fairer than it was in 1968. But there is still plenty of room for improvement.

“In these challenging economic times it’s more important than ever for employers to make the most of all the talent available. When a company reflects the society it serves, it’s better for the employer, the employees and the customers, so being a woman should never be a barrier to being treated fairly at work.

“From today the gagging clauses that stop people discussing their pay with their colleagues will be unenforceable, allowing women – and men – to find out if they’re being paid unfairly.

“This move towards transparency is just one part of the Equality Act, which also makes it easier for businesses to comply with discrimination law by streamlining the equality laws, and provides more protection to disabled people.”

The Act brings together nine different laws – including the Equal Pay Act – into a single piece of legislation, simplifying the law and reducing the administrative burden on businesses.

More information about The Equality Act 2010

1. The nine pieces of legislation being brought together under the 2010 Equality Act are:

•Equal Pay Act (1970)
•Sex Discrimination Act (1975)
•Race Relations Act (1976)
•Disability Discrimination Act (1995)
•Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations (2003)
•Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (2003)
•Employment Equality (Age) Regulations (2006)
•Equality Act (2006)
•Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (2007)

2. Key changes to the law being introduced today include:

•Making pay secrecy “gagging” clauses unenforceable. This will protect employees who choose to discuss their pay with each other for the purposes of uncovering discrimination.
•Extra protection for disabled people. The new law restricts the circumstances in which employers can ask job applicants questions about disability or health prior to offering them a position, making it more difficult for disabled people to be unfairly screened out.
•New powers for employment tribunals. Where an employment tribunal finds that an employer has discriminated against an employee, the tribunal will be allowed to make recommendations that could affect the whole workforce – for example, calling for harassment policies to be more effectively implemented – instead of being restricted to measures that will benefit the employee who brought the action.
•Extending protection from third party harassment to all protected characteristics, meaning employers have a responsibility to protect their staff, where possible, from harassment by customers.

Source: Government Equalities Office
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** Made in Dagenham - Is a dramatization of the 1968 strike at the Ford Dagenham car plant, where female workers walked out in protest against sexual discrimination. This walkout was instrumental in the Equal Pay Act 1970. The film stars Sally Hawkins, Miranda Richardson, Rosamund Pike and Jaime Winston. It is directed by Nigel Cole with Screeplay by Billy Ivory.

Equality & Human Rights Commission make a statement on new Eqality Act

The new Equality Act became law from the 1st October 2010. The act replaces most of the previous discrimination legislation.

The objective of the act is promoting equality for all by preventing discrimination under several protected characteristics Age, Disability, Gender Reassignment, Marriage and Civil Partnership, Pregnancy and Maternity, Race, Religion or Belief, Sex and Sexual Orientation. The Act applies to the provision of services as well as employment.

The Equality & Human Rights Commission issued a Press Release on the 1st October. "Commission statement on the implementation of the Equality Act 2010"

The majority of the Equality Act 2010 comes into force today, bringing together existing equality law into one place so that it is easier to understand and extending protection to some groups so that they are treated more fairly.

The Commission’s role, given to it by Parliament, is to help people understand equality law and to enforce it.

The new law protects everyone in Britain to some extent as people have several of the characteristics it covers, namely age, race, religion and belief, sex (meaning gender) and sexual orientation; and some people also have the protected characteristics of disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity.

Under the Act people are not allowed to discriminate, harass or victimise another person because they belong to a group that the Act protects, are thought to belong to one of those groups or are associated with someone who does.

Helen Hughes, interim Chief Executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: “It’s more than just an Act. Simplifying equality legislation and extending protection to a wide range of groups that face discrimination will help Britain become a fairer society, improve public services, and help business perform well.

“For example, banning the use of pre-employment questionnaires under the new Equality Act could make it easier for veterans who have been recently disabled in the line of duty to get work; and protecting young mums from discrimination in school or college could mean they finish their education rather than drop out.

“It is also a reminder that treating people fairly protects organisations from costly discrimination claims.”

Detailed guidance to the new Equality Act is being rolled out by the Commission. The Commission is producing statutory guidance (“Codes of Practice”) for legal professionals and can be referred to in legal cases; and other guidance (“non-statutory guidance”) aimed at people who want to know how the law applies in different settings.

Source: The Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Who are a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006, which took over the responsibilities of Commission for Racial Equality, Disability Rights Commission and Equal Opportunities Commission. It is the independent advocate for equality and human rights in Britain. It aims to reduce inequality, eliminate discrimination, strengthen good relations between people, and promote and protect human rights.

The Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender status, and encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act. It also gives advice and guidance to businesses, the voluntary and public sectors, and to individuals.

The Equality Act 2010 - Are you compliant? Find out here how jml Training can help your organisation

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Equality Act may take employers by surprise

"Employers may be taken by surprise by Equality Act" is the headline on the 30th September on the British Chamber of Commerce website.

British business owners have been told to prepare for the impact of the Equality Act, due to come into force on Friday October 1.

Companies of all sizes will be affected by the legislation, which has been more than five years in the making, as it will raise a range of practical points for employers to consider to avoid the risks of discrimination claims by employees.

Rachel Dineley from law firm Beachcroft LLP, said: “The new Act has been a long time coming. Its fundamental purpose is to bring together all existing discrimination protection into a single Act, with a view to ensuring consistency and clarity over how employees and job applicants are protected against incidents of discrimination in the workplace.”

Some of the key issues of the Act include: an extension of discrimination law, the prohibition on employers asking job applicants questions about their health, and new laws that allow employees to freely discuss their pay with one another.

Beachcroft LLP has informed employers that any action they take against workers discussing pay will be unlawful victimisation.

They have warned that with the recent changes in government and current focus on cost cutting, employers may be taken by surprise as job applicants and employees take advantage of the revised protection provided by the Act.

Source: British Chamber of Commerce / Crimson Business Ltd

The Equality Act 2010 - Are you compliant? Find out here how jml Training can help your organisation - News - Features - Women can now make a NEWW move - News - Features - Women can now make a NEWW move

The Equality Act 2010 - Are you compliant? Find out here how jml Training can help your organisation

Will the Equality Act to spark employee demand for pay rises?

According to "The Grapevineonline" 6th October 2010..."Equality Act to spark employee demand for pay rises"

The newly enforced ban on pay secrecy gagging clauses could result in a wave of employees demanding salary increases.

The Equality Act, which came into effect last Friday (1 October 2010), prevents organisations from enforcing contractual agreements that stop employees from discuss their pay with colleagues as long the conversation is intended to uncover instances of discrimination.

According to research from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), almost half (49%) of UK employees would demand a pay rise or quite look for a new job if they found out that colleagues which held positions at the same level were paid more than them.

Michael Rendell, Head of HR Consulting, PwC comments: “Although the provisions in the Equality Act banning gagging clauses were watered down considerably in the final drafting of the legislations, the new rules are put of the growing culture and regulatory drive for greater disclosure around pay.

“A further step in this direction will be the requirement also contained in the Equality Act for private sector employers with more than 250 employees to report their gender pay gap. This obligation is due to come into force in 2013, although it is possible it may happen sooner.”

Source: Grapevineonline - The Grapevine Magazine is published every month providing an insight into the world of talent management. It is the only publication dedicated to this unique and growing part of the HR market. Packed with features, case studies and specialist columns it is essential trade reading for both Practitioners and Supplier to this industry

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Increase in discrimination claims when Equality Act comes into force?

"Businesses fear increase in discrimination claims when Equality Act comes into force" - Press Release - 1st October 2010

•Equality Act becomes law on 1 October 2010
•Three quarters of HR professionals predict increase in discrimination claims

According to new research from international law firm Eversheds, 75% of HR professionals surveyed fear that the Equality Act 2010, which comes into force on 1 October 2010, will lead to an increase in claims.

The research, which canvassed the opinions of over 200 HR professionals, also reveals that many employers (57%) have responded to these concerns by implementing training on the Act for managers or staff, or intend to do so. However, nearly a third (29%) had no plans to implement training.

Audrey Williams, head of discrimination law at Eversheds, comments:

“While the Equality Act is designed to streamline existing discrimination law, it also expands it in some areas. This explains why employers are concerned that they will see an increase in claims after the Equality Act becomes law on 1 October 2010.

“Most employers seem to recognise that one important way to protect themselves against claims is to train managers and staff so that they understand what is and isn’t considered acceptable. For example, the Act imposes new restrictions on what questions employers can ask about job candidates’ health. Anyone involved in the recruitment process needs to know about this change. Those employers who have yet to consider training should do so immediately.”

Nearly half (49%) of those who responded said their internal policies will be changed ahead of the Act coming into force in October, while a third (33%) didn’t intend to change their policies.

Audrey Williams comments:

“Many employers will have had to change their equality policies to reflect the fact that the Act increases the scope for organisations to be held liable if one of their employees is harassed by a third party, such as a customer, service user or supplier. Such policies should tell staff what to do if they feel they have been harassed and reassure them that their concerns will be taken seriously. For those who said they hadn’t changed their policies, it may be that they don’t have to as they already cover the relevant areas. That said, we would still recommend they check their existing policies to ensure they deal with the changes made by the Act.

“Depending on the nature of the employer’s activities, it might also be appropriate to specifically bring to the attention of clients, customers and commercial contacts that inappropriate behaviour towards staff will not be tolerated.”

The research also gives an insight into some of the more controversial aspects of the Act that are still under review, such as the provision for ‘positive action’

Audrey Williams comments:

“Perhaps the most contentious aspect of the Act is a provision for ‘positive action’ that would allow employers to recruit or promote employees because of their sex, race etc if they are 'as qualified as' other candidates. The coalition has, so far, declined to implement this part of the Act, and refuses to be drawn on when, if ever, it will take effect. Other types of positive action will, however, be allowed where it is aimed at remedying perceived disadvantage or underrepresentation. However, Eversheds’ survey suggests there is little appetite for this amongst employers, with only 7% saying they will definitely adopt some form of positive action.”

Another aspect of the Act that the coalition has held back from implementing concerns the publication of pay data. Under the Labour Government there was talk of requiring larger private sector employers to publish information about their gender pay gap, i.e. the difference in pay between male and female employees. With that in mind, the Act contains a section that would give Ministers power to introduce new regulations, at some future date, to make reporting compulsory.

Neither the Conservatives nor the Liberal Democrats were happy with this provision, albeit for different reasons. One option available to the coalition would be simply to bring the relevant section of the Act into effect without ever using the power to introduce regulations. By declining to implement this provision the coalition appears to be sending out a message that it does not think forcing employers to reveal what they pay to men and women is the solution to the stubborn problem of the gender pay gap.

Audrey Williams comments:

“Labour ministers had hoped that employers would voluntarily reveal information about their gender pay gap, promising further regulations only if voluntary reporting did not take off. However Eversheds’ survey suggests this may have been something of a pipe-dream, with only 13% of employers saying they will publish the data voluntarily.

The drive for pay transparency is also behind a provision in the Act that limits the effect of so-called ‘pay gagging clauses’, which are contract terms that seek to prevent employees discussing their pay. The Act limits the effect of such clauses by making them unenforceable against employees who discuss pay within the workplace with a view to finding out if there has been any unlawful discrimination in pay rates. However, Eversheds’ survey reveals that few employers are likely to be affected by this part of the Act. Less than one in 10 organisations surveyed by Eversheds currently has some form of contractual provision in place purporting to ban the discussion of pay, and of those, only a fifth (21%) say they intend to keep it post 1 October.

Audrey Williams concludes:

“So called ‘pay gagging clauses’ tend to be found in sectors such as financial services. Whilst there is no need for employers to abandon such clauses, managers do need to be aware that it won’t always be appropriate to take action against someone who has revealed details about their pay.

“This is an important piece of legislation, and employers need to fully up to speed with all the changes to avoid potential claims.”

The research was conducted in September 2010 among 237 HR professionals.

Tips for preparing for the Equality Act 2010

Employers can follow a number of simple steps to ensure they are prepared:

· Review existing policies in all areas of discrimination to ensure they are still relevant

· Ensure all employees with line manager and interviewing responsibilities have attended training so they know when to recognise discrimination and ensure they comply with the law

· Ensure all staff are trained so that they know what to do if they experience harassment or discrimination

· Depending on the nature of the employer’s activities, it might also be appropriate to specifically bring to the attention of clients, customers and commercial contacts that inappropriate behaviour towards staff will not be tolerated.

Source: Eversheds LLP: - Eversheds LLP and its world wide offices have over 4,500 people who provide services to the private and public sector business and finance community. Access to all these services is provided through 47 international offices in 29 jurisdictions. Eversheds combines local market knowledge and access with the specialisms, resources and international capability of one of the world’s largest law firms.

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