Equalities

Equalities Coordinator: Cath McGuiness   Equalities Archive


APRIL 2016

Shared Parental  Leave

Under the shared parental leave regulations, working couples with babies due on or after 5 April 2015 can share leave and pay provided each parent qualifies for leave and pay in their own right. Similar arrangements apply for adoptive parents.

Chancellor George Osborne announced in the Budget on 16 March 2016 that the Government will launch its first consultation on extending shared parental leave and pay to working grandparents in May 2016. The resulting policy is expected to be implemented by 2018.

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Pregnancy, maternity and family leave rights

Rights to paid time off for antenatal appointments and strong duties on employers to protect pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers from harm in the workplace were introduced in the UK as a result of EU law. EU law also guarantees women a minimum period of maternity leave, a right to return to the same job and protection from dismissal or any other unfavorable treatment because of pregnancy or maternity.

Rights for parents and carers to take time off in an emergency and for parents to take 18 weeks’ unpaid parental leave per child also have their origins in EU law. In the UK, one in 10 working parents of pre-school children (and one in five single parents) rely on parental leave each year. And nearly one in four parents take time off to deal with emergencies like a child falling ill or childcare arrangements breaking down.

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Key factors contributing to gender pay gap

The lack of effective policy in many of the areas that contribute to the gender pay gap is highlighted in a report by a cross-party committee of MPs.

The Women and Equalities Committee’s second report on the gender pay gap finds that the key causes of pay differentials are: the part-time pay penalty; women’s disproportionate responsibility for childcare and other forms of unpaid caring; and the concentration of women in highly feminised, low paid sectors like care, retail and cleaning.  The committee argues that although the government has committed to eliminating the gender pay gap within a generation, it has remained at around the same level for the past four years.


JANUARY 2014

Inequality Leads to Unrest at Work

According to a report, the recent rise in levels of sickness and strikes is due to inequality and low pay at work. It seems that workers are not satisfied with the low pay that many of them receive in comparison to their fat cat bosses.

The think tank – the High Pay Centre said that workplaces with a substantial difference in pay between the highest and lowest waged are more likely to suffer from strikes and sickness than workplaces with a more equal pay ratio.

High Pay Centre director Deborah Hargreaves said:  “High executive pay is not only frequently unmerited but has a huge hidden impact on the rest of the organisation and society as a whole. “Whether it’s through staff turnover, sickness, low morale or industrial action, big pay gaps undermine employees’ loyalty to the company and their managers.
“Employers suffer lost productivity, have to pay more sick pay and legal and recruitment costs as staff left feeling the financial and emotional strain are driven even further into the ground.”

The Morning Star also reported today, 20 January 2014, that a shocking 2,000 workplaces had bosses who are paid ten times the amount of the lowest paid employee.

A survey conducted by the High Pay Centre highlighted various cases where unequal pay led to an unsurprising increase in unrest at work.

The report showed that in companies where the highest wage was eight times that of the minimum, led to at least one case of work related sickness a year. On the other hand, workplaces where the difference between the maximum and minimum wage was five times greater or less, didn't face any such problems.

Despite the London Mayor claiming that a bigger pay gap encourages employees to work harder (yes Boris!), it is clear that the effects of inequality are proving to be detrimental to workplaces and cause unrest and protests.

Similarly, the current government boasts about a rise in employment, ignoring the fact that minimum wage and zero hour contracts are becoming massive problems. Such contracts are unfair and any growth in employment based on such contracts offers no sustainable solution to the problems facing the UK.

The IER (The Institute of Employment Rights) believes that the way forward is through collective bargaining, ensuring not just a higher wage for workers (collective bargaining results in a 15% lift in wages) but a more equitable distribution of income.

The consequential effect of this will be people being more willing to spend money and thus creating more job opportunities due to an increase in demand.

This means that the more one pays workers the more the economy will gain in return. As a result it will mean people will be happier due to a fairer wage and the country will gain more financial stability in return.

The IER is also planning a regional tour to promote our collective bargaining proposal. No dates have yet been set but if you are interested we urge you to watch this space for more information and dates that will be posted soon.   




 

New on Site

23/03/2017

Training

New courses for members and stewards.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/12

Inflation leaps to 3.2%

More regulation of gig economy needed

Appalling risk of suicides in construction

Fat cats — the great pay divide

Racist abuse after Brexit vote

Lack of diversity at top in Wales


22/03/2017

Branch Committee

Papers for the meeting on Monday 3 April.


18/03/2017

Regional Disabled Members Group

Meeting on Tuesday 28 March 2017 at 4.30pm.

Misogyny as a Hate Crime

Nottinghamshire Police have taken the bold step to identify misogyny as a hate crime and Northern UNSION are keen for this to be replicated in our region. The aim of the event is to identify how we can move the issue forward across the region with all three Police and Crime Commissioners.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/11

Swings and scooters of inflation basket

No real improvement in weekly earnings

Cosmetic improvement with Living Wage

Zero-hours contracts at record high

Unemployment falls below 1.6 million


12/03/2017

AGM 2017

Agenda and annual report.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/10

Economic forecasts in Hammond's Budget

Mixed fortunes in ethnic women's pay gap data

Company merger and acquisitions in 2016

Numbers on zero-hours contracts at a high

GMB take on DX delivery firm

Former chancellor's nice big earner

Charter to stop violence at work


03/03/2017

March/Rally for Durham Teaching Assistants

Saturday 25 March. Hear grassroots, union and guest speakers and watch the Reel News film showing the Durham Teaching Assistants’ story.

LGBT Policy weekend

Saturday 25 March, to plan UNISON LGBT activities for the year ahead.

HOPE Not Hate Event

A joint training session for trade union and community activists on how to organise to defeat the politics of division.  18 March 2017.

NE People’s Assembly

March calendar of events and activities.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/9

Trade Union Act regs come into force

Gender pension gap leaves women short

Violence at work — the nasty truth

Bookseller's £7m salary

Money purchase pension are norm

British Gas denied appeal in Lock case

Government fails in ethnicity review


01/03/2017

Branch Committee

Papers for the meeting on Monday 6 March.

Retired members

Papers for the retired members' meeting on 17 March.


24/02/2017

Branch Lottery

Winners in February.

Workers Memorial Day

Morning seminar and afternoon remembrance service in Hartlepool on Friday 28 April 2017. There is also an Eve of WMD ‘Gig’ on Thursday 27 April.


23/02/2017

Labour Research Department Fact 79/8

Government green paper on pensions

A 'Stern diet' for fat cat directors' pay

Employers — don't miss out on talent

Argos repays £2.4 million to 37,000 staff

Economic growth revised upwards

Work fears of disabled people revealed

In the papers

Migrants have helped make Britain. It’s time to celebrate us

NHS at breaking point, according to British Medical Association

Councils prepare to cut essential services to fund adult social care

London transport spending equivalent to £1,500 more per head than North East


22/02/2017

Labour Research Department Fact 79/7

Minimum wage cheats named and shamed

Inflation hits three-year high

Unemployment at 11-year low

Inflation erodes growth in weekly earnings

In the papers

Migrants are always the scapegoats. But now they’re taking on Ukip’s lies

I, Daniel Blake is a realistic depiction of life on benefits. Isn’t it?

English social care system for elderly facing 'complete collapse'

North East peers want law to make Government investigate impact of Brexit on region

North East recruitment drive revealed as jobless total in region rises

UK employment growth driven by foreign nationals, figures show

The NHS needs a rethink. Its priorities no longer make sense

Top Labour politicians come to 'UKIP area' Sunderland for Brexit debates and festival

Rothbury Community Hospital inpatient ward closure public meeting this week

Shopping will cost you more as prices rise, but is Brexit to blame?

Campaigners calling for u-turn over Post Office move

UK labour shortages reported as EU worker numbers fall

Britons living in the EU face Brexit backlash, leaked paper warns

Then the Daily Mail came for Gary Lineker, and we said: ‘Enough!’

Brexit survey revealed: What you would do if given second shot at EU referendum

Booming gig economy costs £4bn in lost tax and benefit payouts, says TUC

There will be a shameful betrayal of the Brexit low-paid

Welcome to the new dark ages, where only the wealthy can retire

NHS 'pays £7.5m a year for 20 most expensive agency doctors'

Drive to bring health and social care together is a well-intentioned mess


12/02/2017

Disabled Members Policy Weekend

Sunderland, 19/20 May 2017.

Members training

Sign Language (BSL) Introduction, 2 March 2017

Dementia Workshop, 30 March 2017

Reps training

Regional Education Calendar 2017

In the papers

A&E in England had worst delays ever in January, leak suggests

Why was Newcastle Council leader Nick Forbes the star of Prime Minister's questions?

Number of patients stuck in hospital 'far higher than NHS data shows'

It's time corporate tax dodgers started losing lucrative council contracts

More council housing needed in the North East - government report reveals

Council tax, youth funding and bins: 6 things to look out for from Sunderland budget meeting

TyneMet and South Tyneside colleges merger: What it means for jobs, campuses and its new name?

Labour Research Department Fact 79/6

Review of tribunal fees finally published

Plan to tackle abusive hiring practices

Insecure work on rise

Twenty eight directors share £68.37 million


05/02/2017

Affiliations and donations

A list of affiliations and donations that the branch committee has approved since January 2015.


07/02/2017

In the papers

UK faces return to inequality of Thatcher years, says report

NHS ID scheme could deter eligible patients, say MPs

Councils may cut social care provision due to underfunding, LGA says

Nursery schools: ‘What society gives children less chance than their parents?’

Council tax rise planned for Northumberland residents as authority faces £36m cuts

'Trump can't hack Trebs' - the best signs from Newcastle anti-Trump demonstration

Labour Research Department Fact 79/5

Racism at work

Economy grows but there's a shortfall

Advice on gender pay gap from Acas

Tories offer no solution on discrimination

Eight assaults a day in Welsh schools

UNIMAG 33

A quarterly periodical updating branch reps on employment law.


06/02/2017

Branch Lottery

Winners in January.


27/01/2017

Young Members

Northern Region Young Members AGM

Black Members

UNISON Northern Region Black Members Forum AGM 2017.

LV Car Insurance

Discounted car insurance for UNISON members.


26/01/2017

North East March and Rally for #ourNHS

In Newcastle on Saturday 4 February.

Branch Committee

Papers for the meeting on 6 February.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/4

Death by a thousand fire service cuts

Guidance on stress

Modern-day slave traders jailed

Fees let bad bosses get off scot free

Top-ranked inclusive employers 2017

Get tough on pay, says pension funds


22/01/2017

Women's Network AGM

Agenda and nomination form for the mmeting on 4 February.

Disabled Members

Annual Meeting of the Regional Disabled Members Self Organised Group on Tuesday 31 January 2017.

Members training

Mental Health Awareness Workshop on Thursday 16 February.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/3

Wales to ditch parts of 2016 Trade Union Act

Inflation rates at highest since 2014

Retail inflation eating into earnings growth

UK unemployment at nine-year low

In the Papers

Public sector pay poised to fall by thousands in real terms, TUC says

May’s promise on workers’ rights is hollow if she doesn’t get a deal

NHS crisis: the one act of self-sacrifice that could rescue our health service

Politicians have ignored the working class for too long

World's eight richest people have same wealth as poorest 50%

Crisis, what NHS crisis? Theresa May must stop this denial

Welsh government tables bill to overturn Trade Union Act


15/01/2017

Anne Frank Trust Exhibition

UNISON have now been allocated two spots on the 16 January to have guided tours around the Anne Frank exhibition. 

Labour Research Department Fact 79/2

Courier's tribunal win against CitySprint

TUC warns over Brexit threat to workers' rights

Lame excuses for not paying minimum wage

High street store fined over safety

Manufacturing output edges higher

Child poverty briefing


13/01/2017

Branch Lottery

Winners in December.


06/01/2017

The Trade Union Act and UNISON's Political Fund

Consultation on political fund review: December-January

Reading Ahead

We are having our first Reading Ahead launch at Welford Learning Zone on 11 January between 10am and 11am.

Trade Union Reps courses

Book now to secure your place on one of the courses for Reps at Newcastle College starting in January 2017.

Northern Region Training Programme

UNISON courses in 2017. These courses are free and open to all members unless otherwise stated.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/1

'Precarious pay penalty' of zero-hours staff

Plans for a Universal Basic Income

2017 — economic forecasts for year

'Fat Cat Wednesday' has been and gone

Northern Ireland to reveal political gifts

UK's deficit in trade in goods gets ever worse

UK economic growth revised upwards