Category Archives: positive discrimination

Wimbledon pays women equally – but will Gordon Brown?

The Fawcett Society today issued a challenge to the new prime minister to be the first to ensure that women and men in the UK are equally rewarded for their work.

Although equal pay legislation has been in force for more than 30 years, there’s still a pay gap women working full-time still earn on average 17% less per hour than men working full-time, and women working part-time earn 38% less.

Dr Katherine Rake said: “Women tennis players are finally enjoying equal pay at Wimbledon – it’s time for Gordon Brown to give all women a sporting chance and finally end the pay gap. The ball’s in his court.”

Practical steps to end the pay gapAs the leading campaign for equality between women and men, Fawcett has set out the practical measures that Government could take to end the pay gap. These include:

  • Safeguards: Compulsory pay audits for all organisations
  • Bold ambitions: The Government to set dates for finally closing the pay gap
  • Tackle long hours: Full sign-up to the EU’s Working Time Directive and other steps to tackle our long hours working culture, which limits the ability of women with caring responsibilities to compete on an equal basis with men.
  • Include men: Government and employers to encourage men – not just women – to engage with work-life balance issues.
  • New rights: a right to work flexibly for all employees, unless there is a strong business case against it

Research by Capital Consulting and Cranfield School of Management reveals UK companies are failing to develop top people

Training and development experts have championed the importance of talent management after a new report found more than half of UK businesses are failing to develop their top people.

Research by recruitment outsourcing provider Capital Consulting and Cranfield School of Management, found that only 49% of UK businesses had implemented talent development programmes.

Having questioned 608 HR directors, the research pointed to a lack of financial investment and insufficient senior management support as the main obstacles to talent development.

It found that while six in 10 respondents said talent management was essential to increasing profit, only four in 10 strategically managed their star talent. One in five did not link the strategy to their business plan, while only 15% measured the return on investment.

Victoria Winkler, training, learning and development adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, told Personnel Today she was not surprised by the findings. However, she believed that skills awareness was growing, and was not only on the agenda of HR departments, but also chief executives and finance directors.

“HR teams need to put a talent management structure in place to get the most out of their employees,” she said. “It can have a major impact on the bottom line and retaining staff.”

Jeremy Tipper, group managing director of Capital Consulting, said: “Creating an effective talent management framework has the potential to make HR directors organisational heroes because of the ever-growing impact it will have on business performance.”

Dr Emma Parry, research fellow at Cranfield School of Management, said the report should serve as a wake-up call to employers. “The disconnect between what senior managers are saying and what they are doing is very worrying,” she said.

Investing in disabled people’s skills could boost the economy by £35 billion

Improving the skills of disabled people to world class levels by 2020 would boost the economy by £35 billion over 30 years, equivalent to 18 months growth, and help tackle child poverty, argues SMF Chief Economist Stephen Evans in a new report, Disability, Skills and Work: Raising our ambitions, published by the Social Market Foundation in association with the Disability Rights Commission.

The report argues that, as well as the benefits from raising the skills rate of disabled people to world class levels, improving the employment rate of disabled people to the UK average through skills improvements would give a boost to the economy of some £13 billion, equivalent to six months economic growth.

To achieve this prize Disability, Skills and Work recommends:
• A national commitment to reducing the relative skills gap between disabled people and the national average
• Employers be required to take greater responsibility, aided by improved support, but backed by tough new legal duties if progress falls short
• Out of work disabled people be given much greater opportunity to improve their skills as a route back to work

These proposals would not only result in increased productivity and employment, but also help tackle poverty, in particular child poverty.

Children from deprived backgrounds often risk becoming trapped in a cycle of disadvantage. Given one in three children living in poverty in Britain has a disabled parent, the report contends that transforming the employment prospects of disabled people by investing in their skills must be a central part of the Governments efforts to end child poverty by 2020.

Commenting, author of the report, Stephen Evans said:

“The size of the challenge is daunting. But the scale of the prize is huge and the cost of inaction is mounting by the day through wasted talent. The past decade has shown how empowering disabled people and supporting employers can work. The next decade needs to see a step change in this approach and a dramatic boost to the skills of disabled people.”

Agnes Fletcher, Director of Policy and Communications at the Disability Rights Commission, said:

“Despite rising levels of employment for disabled people over recent years, too many are still without jobs and living in poverty as a result. Supplying disabled people with the skills they need is the missing link between ending child poverty, boosting the economy and getting more people off benefits and back into work. As this report shows, investing in disabled people’s skills is a win/win situation for Government, creating massive dividends for the economy and delivering greater equality at the same time.”