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Discrimination and harassment cases – further progress on restricting a cover-up

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has published new guidance about the use of confidentiality agreements in discrimination cases.

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Discrimination and harassment cases – further progress on restricting a cover-up

Government proposes enhanced protections for employees and workers facing workplace discrimination

The government has proposed introducing new protections for employees and workers facing discrimination in the workplace from their employers. These proposals reflect increasing demands for there to be a fairer balance between workers' and employers' rights.

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Government proposes enhanced protections for employees and workers facing workplace discrimination

Philosophical belief case on right to copyright fails

Is an argument about the interpretation of a contract protected as a philosophical belief? No, said the Court of Appeal in Gray v. Mulberry Co (Design) Ltd. We have blogged about earlier stages of this case previously (see here and here) and it has just been heard by the Court of Appeal.
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Philosophical belief case on right to copyright fails

ACAS publishes “Menopause at work” guidance as World Menopause Day celebrates its tenth anniversary

The newly published ACAS guidance comes as a timely reminder of the impact the menopause can have on women's everyday lives and suggests a number of measures that employers can adopt to support staff.
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ACAS publishes “Menopause at work” guidance as World Menopause Day celebrates its tenth anniversary

Ponderings on philosophical beliefs

In August 2018 we blogged about the case of Gray v. Mulberry (re-read here).

As predicted, this case has now made its way to the Court of Appeal, which is hearing the appeal this week.

This is the first time that the Court of Appeal has grappled with the problematic area of philosophical beliefs.

What amounts to a philosophical belief is topical, with the Norwich Employment Tribunal finding last week that vegetarianism, whilst being something an individual could “genuinely believe in”, was not a philosophical belief for the purposes of the legislation. A different tribunal will consider the same question in respect of ethical veganism later this month.

Will the somewhat “tick box” criteria set down in Grainger plc v. Nicholson (decided at Employment Appeal Tribunal), with its often unexpected results, survive as the leading authority on this point?

The judgment is awaited with interest.

Ponderings on philosophical beliefs

Government issues response to pregnancy and maternity consultation

Continuing with the running theme of government consultations that have emerged over the course of July, the government last week released its response to the consultation on pregnancy and maternity discrimination. The consultation, which ran from 25 January 2019 to 5 April 2019, focused on extending redundancy protection for pregnant women and new parents, and came off the back of research by BEIS (published in 2016) that demonstrated pregnancy and maternity discrimination is still far too prevalent in the workplace.
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Government issues response to pregnancy and maternity consultation

Is ethnic pay gap reporting on the horizon?

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released an analysis this week of ethnicity pay gaps in the UK using earnings data from the Annual Population Survey. Its findings show that, on average, employees from the Chinese and Indian ethnic groups have consistently earned more than the White British employee since 2012. However, employees in all other ethnic groups consistently earned less, on average, than White British employees.
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Is ethnic pay gap reporting on the horizon?

Magistrate who said same-sex adoption not in best interests of a child loses discrimination claims

A Christian magistrate who publicly disapproved of same-sex adoption has lost his claim for religious discrimination and victimisation.
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Magistrate who said same-sex adoption not in best interests of a child loses discrimination claims

“Leaving no one behind”: the Equal Measures 2019 Gender Index

Equal Measures 2030 (EM2020) is an independent civil society and private sector-led partnership which envisions a world where gender equality is achieved, and every girl and woman counts and is counted. To achieve this EM2030 connect data and evidence with advocacy and action, helping to fuel progress towards gender equality. Partners include heavyweight organisations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and  Plan International.

Earlier this month Equal Measures 2030 published it’s 2019 gender index which is very interesting to read and gives us useful data on the progress that is being made towards gender equality.  It is described as being the “most comprehensive tool available to explore the state of gender equality across 129 countries”.  If your role involves driving progress towards equality and diversity in the workforce, this is a useful resource to use to demonstrate where good progress is being made and where lessons can be learned. 

The index as it currently stands finds that nearly 40% of the world’s girls and women (1.4 billion) live in countries failing on gender equality.  The same number live in countries that “barely pass”. This is a challenging picture with 11 years to go until 2030.

The Index looks at gender commitments within the following sustainable development goals (SDG): poverty; hunger and nutrition; health; education; gender equality; water and sanitation; energy; work and economic growth; industry, infrastructure and innovation; inequality; cities and communities; climate; peace and institutions; and partnerships.

The Index ranks Denmark highest overall, with the UK in 17th place.

SDG 8 is “Work and Economic Growth”. EM2030 recognises the Gender equality in employment gives women more decision-making power and enhances family well-being: women will typically invest more of their income than men in the health, nutrition and education of their children. Finland leads in the areas of Work and Economic Growth. Finland, in particular, is noted as having reasonably strong public services and social safety nets.

EM2030 encourages us all to “harness the power of data for gender equality”. Their vision is that using data effectively and to influence campaigns will lead to real changes in gender equality laws, policies and budget allocations.

The report can be found here. Acknowledgment is given for reproduction of materials.

“Leaving no one behind”: the Equal Measures 2019 Gender Index

Court of Appeal rules that employers can enhance maternity pay without offering enhanced shared parental pay

The Court of Appeal has held that it is neither unlawful sex discrimination (direct or indirect) nor a breach of the sex equality clause implied into all contracts by the Equality Act 2010 (EqA) to pay men on shared parental leave less than birth mothers on statutory maternity leave.
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Court of Appeal rules that employers can enhance maternity pay without offering enhanced shared parental pay