Diverse Magazine

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TUC RESPONSE TO THE PUBLIC SECTOR EQUALITY DUTY REVIEW

The Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) plays a vital role in underpinning union work to tackle discrimination and harassment at work according to the TUC’s response to a government review of the duty. The PSED, which only came into effect two years ago, requires public bodies to pay ‘due regard’ to equalities in everything that they do. While the TUC believes that it is far too early to conduct a credible review of the PSED, trade unions have provided a wide range of evidence highlighting the positive difference the duty is making to promoting equality and how it could be improved....

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FAILED RACE DISCRIMINATION CASE – MIGRANT WORKERS

The Employment Appeal Tribunal handed down judgment in Taiwo v Olaigbe on 5 March 2013 and held that unfavourable treatment on the grounds of vulnerability for reasons including immigration status does not constitute race discrimination. The background The Claimant, a Nigerian woman, worked as a domestic worker in the home of the Respondents between February 2010 and January 2011. During this period she had been subjected to systematic and callous exploitation by the Respondents, including onerous working hours, restricted access to food, physical and verbal abuse and a failure to pay a salary in line with the National Minimum Wage. Upon her...

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EYE DISABILITY CARE WORKER IN £16K PAYOUT

An auxiliary nurse has been awarded more than £16,000 in compensation after a health trust failed to put in place measures for her to return to work after developing a disability. Angela McCracken took the case against the Northern Health and Social Care Trust after contracting a degenerative eye condition, retinitis pigmentosa. Her central vision was not affected but she has no peripheral vision and experiences temporary difficulties in adjusting to changes in lighting. She notified the trust in August 2011 that she was ready to return to work after maternity leave. An eye specialist had stated Ms McCracken was...

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OXFORD ACCUSED OF ‘BIAS’ AGAINST ETHNIC MINORITIES

White applicants to some of the most competitive courses are twice as likely to get places Of British students applying, 25.7% received an offer compared to 17.2% of students from ethnic minorities MP David Lammy said the figures suggested an ‘institutional bias’ Oxford University was yesterday accused of ‘institutional bias’ against ethnic minorities amid striking differences in different racial groups’ entry rates. White applicants to some of the most competitive courses are up to twice as likely to get places even with the same A-level grades, according to data released under the Freedom of Information Act. Overall, of the white,...

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ADEREMI V LONDON AND SOUTH EASTERN RAILWAY

Disability discrimination – normal day to day activities   This decision is likely to be helpful to claimants seeking to show they have a ‘disability’. The appeal tribunal stresses that one should look at what the claimant cannot do, rather that what they can. It also criticises a ‘sliding scale’ approach, which might set the bar for claimants too high, and says the statutory guidance may mislead here. And it reiterates that the effect of an impairment on work activities can very much be relevant. In Aderemi v London South East Railway the EAT has overturned the decision of the...

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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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DAVIES INQUIRY MAY SET FTSE 250 FIRMS TARGETS FOR LEVEL OF WOMEN DIRECTORS

Lord Davies’s inquiry into male dominance in boardrooms is preparing to extend its remit by setting female hiring targets for companies outside the FTSE 100. Peer’s inquiry prepares to advise on female hiring rates as it notes 94 listed companies with all-male boardrooms The former trade minister has asked his advisers to prepare research in preparation for recommending that FTSE 250 businesses should work towards a minimum level of female representation on their boards. The peer’s 2011 report only backed targets for the UK’s 100 largest public companies. Prof Susan Vinnicombe, a member of the inquiry’s steering committee, said: “[Davies] has...