Category: GENERAL ISSUES

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BOOK REVIEW: PURE PRESSURE

Written by Louis Julienne, this book is a powerful debut novel. Witty yet serious, tragic and joyous, suspenseful and always informative, it manages to combine a broad brush on a centuries-old inner-city community with telling details of individuals that mark the arrival of a new talent to urban fiction. Pure Pressure is the story of Lizzie Leung the widowed matriarch of an extended family at a key moment in her life. Set at the time of the 1981 ‘Toxteth Riots’, the story is largely confined to a few weeks during that sultry summer of 1981 that made headlines throughout the...

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MICHAEL GOVE’S CIVIL SERVICE CUTS ‘TO HIT NON-WHITE, DISABLED AND OLDER WORKERS’

Radical plans by Michael Gove to cut the Department for Education in half will result in a disproportionate number of redundancies among minority ethnic, disabled and older staff, leaked documents show. An internal review of 3,781 departmental staff – which has been handed to the Guardian – shows that one in eight workers define themselves as black or from an ethnic minority. But more than one in three workers described as putting in an unsatisfactory performance are non-white and likely to be sacked. Nearly 15% of staff identified by managers as underperforming have a disability, while only 6% of all...

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EQUAL PAY: BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL V ABDULLA

What does Birmingham City Council v Abdulla mean for equal pay claims? It has been long accepted that the courts and the employment tribunals have concurrent jurisdiction to hear claims for breach of the statutory equality clause in a contract of employment (equal pay claims). lWe consider the implications of the Supreme Court’s decision in Birmingham City Council v Abdullah and others, in which it ruled that 170 women who worked for Birmingham City Council can proceed with equal pay claims against their former employer in the civil courts, where the six-month employment tribunal time limit for bringing a claim had expired. Q...

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HUMAN RIGHTS DAY – 10 NOVEMBER

On 10th December 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This was followed up in 1950 when the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V) that invited all Member States and interested organisations to adopt 10thDecember as Human Rights Day. The aims of the Declaration were for individuals and societies to strive by progressive measures, both national and international, to secure a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations and to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance. Although the Declaration is broad in its range of political, civil, social, cultural and...

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FIGHTING DISCRIMINATION AT JOB INTERVIEW

Under the Equality Act you can serve a potential employer with a discrimination questionnaire if you suspect foul play – it might not solve the problem but it shines a spotlight on it. A recent report by the all-party parliamentary group on race and community, focussing on black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi female workers, has uncovered racial discrimination and other barriers at the recruitment stage. The inquiry also found that many job applicants of ethnic minority had changed their name or appearance to try to overcome prejudices – and when they did their scope for getting a job increased. Of course,...

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EMPLOYEES PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE

In Barlow v Stone (2012 IRLR 898) the Employment Appeal Tribunal had to decide whether an employee could bring a discrimination claim against a colleague even though no claim had been made against the employer. Facts Barlow brought a claim against his employer alleging disability discrimination under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA), including a failure to make reasonable adjustments. Later a fellow employee (Stone) made a complaint to the police about Barlow, alleging abusive and threatening behaviour – an allegation which turned out to be false. Barlow then presented a second complaint to an employment tribunal, against Stone, alleging discrimination by way of victimisation (in...

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COMMONS DIVERSITY MEASURES URGED

Parliamentary candidates should have a legal right to time off work to campaign, and parties should offer bursaries to would-be MPs from poorer backgrounds, a think tank says. The Institute for Government said Westminster was “overwhelmingly white, male and middle-class”. Just one fifth of MPs are women, and 27 out of 650 are from ethnic minorities. The cost and time involved could deter “candidates from non-traditional backgrounds”, the organisation said. The report acknowledged parties’ past diversity efforts, including all-women shortlists by Labour and the Conservatives’ “A-list” of approved candidates. But the Institute for Government argued that improved selection methods were...

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TRIBUTE TO HERBIE HIGGINS MBE

Diverse Magazine is honoured to present this tribute to Herbie Higgins MBE, one of the greatest pioneers of social justice and voluntary community work in the UK, who passed away on Wednesday November 9, 2011. He was a dad, granddad, great granddad, friend, mentor, a people’s champion, a true servant of the people who delighted in serving communities and we join his family and friends in mourning his loss. Herbie (as he was affectionately known) immigrated to Liverpool from Jamaica in 1951, having been invited by his uncle Charlie Higgins who himself immigrated to England as a qualified engineer during...

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RESISTANCE TO DIVERSITY AMONG JUDGES IS MISGUIDED

Lady Hale’s correct – diversity is a constitutional issue but a more representative bench would make for better decisions. Lady Hale and Lady Neuberger gave evidence to the Lords constitution committee on the importance of increasing diversity of the judiciary and the potential for it to change the outcome of cases recently, but failed to highlight the universality of the issue. Hale, the only female justice in the history of the supreme court and the law lords, stated before the committee that “the lack of diversity on the bench is a constitutional issue”. Both Hale and Neuberger, the former chair...

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NEW EQUALITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS GUIDANCE FOR CARE QUALITY COMMISSION INSPECTORS

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has joined forces with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to produce equality and human rights guidance for care inspectors. The advice is aimed at ensuring people who are most vulnerable to harm have their rights upheld and respected. It enables CQC inspectors to clearly link effective equality and human rights compliance with high-quality, safe services and sets out exactly what they have to look for when monitoring a care provider against standards. Inspectors will also know what to do if they suspect a human rights violation or find a breach in standards. The...