Dorothy Francis • Has worked in co-operatives since 1983 • CEO of Co-operative and Social Enterprise Development Agency (CASE-da). Advice, support and training organisation for co-operatives and social business. www.case-da.co.uk • Chair of Co-operative Diversity Action UK which exists to promote ethnicity diversity within the co-operative movement www.diversityaction.coop www.cooperatives-uk.coop
UK legalisation and initiatives Everyone in the UK has the right to be treated fairly at work and to be free of discrimination on grounds of: • age • race • gender • transgender status • disability • sexual orientation • religion or belief
There are a number of laws that aim to make sure that men and women are treated equally:
Equal Pay Act 1970; amended 1984 The Equal Pay Act 1970 makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate between men and women in terms of their pay and conditions where they are doing the same or similar work. This covers most terms of employment including working hours, holiday, sick pay, performance related pay and pensions.
Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and 1986 (SDA) The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and Sex Discrimination Act 1986 make it unlawful for an employer to discriminate because of a person’s gender. This relates to recruitment (to a new position or promotion with an existing employer), treatment at work and redundancy and dismissal. It also outlaws marriage discrimination where a person is treated less favourably on the grounds of marital status than a person of different marital status would be treated in similar circumstances.
Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and 1986 (SDA) The Sex Discrimination Act includes discrimination or less favourable treatment owing to pregnancy. The Act aims to protect against both direct and indirect discrimination. The Sex Discrimination Act also aims to protect against sexual harassment in the work place and was updated in 2005 to cover two types of sexual harassment: • unwanted conduct on the grounds of a person’s sex and • unwanted physical, verbal or non verbal conduct of a sexual nature
Employment Rights Act 1996 The Employment Rights Act 1996 was introduced to protect women during pregnancy and maternity leave and to ensure that they maintain the same employment rights and protection from discrimination.
Employment Act 2002 The Employment Act 2002 was introduced to help parents balance their working and family lives. It covers parents' rights to request flexible working. Parents of children under the age of sixteen have the right to apply to work flexibly and employers have a duty to consider these requests seriously. It also provides protection to pregnant employees and new or nursing mothers in the workplace as well as providing the right for carers of adults to request flexible working.
Gender Equality Duty 2007 The Gender Equality Duty applies to all public services, requiring them to promote gender equality and eliminate sex discrimination. It impacts on services such as childcare, transport, healthcare, etc. All organisations serving the public must show that they have assessed their own policies and procedures for compliance with gender discrimination legislation.
Equality Act 2010 Over the last four decades discrimination legislation has played an important role in helping to make Britain a more equal society. However, the legislation was complex and, despite the progress that has been made, inequality and discrimination persist and progress on some issues has been stubbornly slow. This has led to the introduction of the Equality Act.
Equality Act 2010 The Equality Act 2010 is intended to provide a new cross-cutting legislative framework to: • protect the rights of individuals and advance equality of opportunity for all • to update, simplify and strengthen the previous legislation and • to deliver a simple, modern and accessible framework of discrimination law which protects individuals from unfair treatment and promotes a fair and more equal society. The Equality Act will replace all the previously mentioned Acts
What has been the impact of equalities legislation in the UK over the past 40 years? Since the Equal Pay Act 1970 and the Sex Discrimination Acts of 1975 and 1986 discrimination on the grounds of gender has decreased enormously and these Acts have been strengthened by subsequent Acts but unfortunately there are still significant gaps between men and women in terms of pay, seniority and representation in certain industries.
Unequal Pay In 1970, when the Equal Pay Act was set up in the UK, the pay gap between the hourly rate of pay of women and men working full time was 36%. 40 years later, the gap remains at 18%
Unequal Pay The Female FTSE report is produced annually by the Cranfield School of Management to detail the number of women directors in the top 100 FTSE companies. The 2009 report revealed a discouraging picture for women.
Unequal Pay • Number of companies with female executive directors is down to 15 (from 16) • A drop in the number of boards with multiple women directors to 37 (from 39) • Decline in the overall number of companies with women on boards resulting in one in four companies having exclusively male boards • Women executive and non-executive directors earn 22 per cent less than their male peers or around £600,000 over a lifetime
Slow change • More than thirty years after the Sex Discrimination Act outlawed discrimination on the grounds of gender, women remain crowded into mostly part-time jobs and a narrow range of lower-paying occupations that do not make the best use of their skills. • The majority of people in part time employment are women and more than 50% of employees in part-time work are working below their skill levels. • The gender pay-gap for part-time work is 37.6%. Discrimination costs British businesses millions each year in tribunal cases, low staff morale and sickness absence
GEO • GEO is a small policy department which has responsibility within Government for equality strategy and legislation. GEO takes the lead on issues relating to women, sexual orientation and transgender equality matters. • On May 12th 2010, the Prime Minister appointed Theresa May MP as Minister for Women and Equalities in addition to her appointment as Home Secretary.
The momentum and commitment to equal opportunities, by UK industry and Government, has failed to deliver on its promise and, despite the rapid take-up of equal opportunities by British industry, discrimination in the workplace has, in practice, proved persistent. This is evidenced by the resilience of horizontal and vertical segregation and the pay gap by gender, ethnicity and disability. The evidence indicates that the legislative approach to equal opportunities, which assumes that equality is about sameness, hasn’t succeeded in opening the doorway of opportunity to all.
Diversity management v equal opportunities Diversity management is being hailed as a proactive, strategically relevant and results-focused approach and a welcome departure from the equal opportunities approach, which has been defined as reactive, operational and sometimes counterproductive. These differences are encapsulated in the following table:
The key differences between equal opportunities and diversity management approaches
Culture change According to the Cabinet Office: ‘To achieve true diversity, an organisation may have to make a significant change to its culture. As well as developing a vision of the future in which diversity is valued and thriving, the organisation may need to examine its history and challenge present practice, by looking behind the policy statements to examine the reality experienced by people in their daily work.’
The co-operative advantage However co-operatives have a lesser need to change their structure because valuing and promoting diversity has always been an integral part of what they do. Co-operatives have core principles of “planet, people and profit” and are more likely to have in place work-life balance, diversity and family friendly policies, making them better places for women to work. They may also operate Social Accounting and Auditing or Social Return on Investment and so will publicly account for social and ethical bottom lines alongside the financial bottom line.
Women in UK co-operatives • Women are well represented in UK co-operatives – almost 50% • The co‑operative structure is one of the main benefits of working in a co‑operative for many women www.cooperatives-uk.coop/women-in-co-operatives for case studies
Somali Development Services (SDS) • Established 2003, 16 members, female led • Provide education and employment support also advice re: health, housing etc • Provide a day care centre • Also run a range of projects including an outreach programme for young people, afamily support service and IT classes • Has advised policy makers in the Haguere developing services for Somalicommunities • CEO is Jawaahir Daahirjdaahir@somalidevelopmentservicesltd.co.uk
Shepshed Carers Co-operative • Provide homecare services to the elderly and those with high dependency needs • Established 1994, female led • 110 staff, primarily female • UK Social Enterprise of the Year 2005 • Invited by Tony Blair in 2006 to visit 10 Downing Street to discuss possibilities of replicating the business idea across the UK • £1.2 million turnover • Excellent training programme for staff. All staff are NVQ trained • Contact Sarah Pollard, Director and Co-founder firstname.lastname@example.org
Just Services Co-operative • Provide advocacy and justice services to the elderly and for people with mental health issues and their families • Run a publishing house that publishes the work produced by their clients • Also produce books and magazines about tea and tea houses as this is an associated interest • Established 2000, female led • Contact Liz MacKenzie email@example.com
Sunflower Nursery • Community nursery providing childcare for 60 children • Community, parent and employee representation on the Board reflects the co-operative’s desire for local democratic control • Female led; 19 members, primarily female • Established 2004 • Sunflowers_4@hotmail.com
Strategies and Solutions – The organisational response • Awareness Raising – becreative, sell the message and the importance to individuals and communities. Bring top managers, trade unions and employees on board • Recruitment – recruit widely, be active and transparent. Ensure that your recruitment reflects both local need and community composition • Retention – once you have got your staff keep them. Offer opportunities to build skills and clear routes to advancement. Provide mentoring and support. Offer good maternity (and paternity) support and return to work programmes. Build excellent work life balance for women and men • Monitor the programme for effectiveness
Introduce Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)Use the KPIs at all points of contact:
Sources of information re UK legislation and labour initiatives • www.direct.gov.uk • www.equalities.gov.uk • Office for National Statistics www.statistics.gov.uk • Opportunity Now has a list of members on their website who are committed to creating an inclusive workplace for women.www.opportunitynow.org.uk • The Times produces a list of ‘Top 50 Organisations Where Women Want to Work’. This provides information on the top 50 progressive organisations and their commitment to equal opportunities.http://www.wherewomenwanttowork.com/top50/top50.2009.asp
Thank you Dorothy Francis firstname.lastname@example.org