News from The Equality Trust (May 2022)

May has been a busy month for the team at The Equality Trust. We have seen much progress in our current research projects and campaigns, and we have continued to work closely with our local groups and supporters in the fight against inequality. 

But May has also been a challenging time for this country as the cost-of-living crisis has started to bite for many households. This is why the Chancellor’s recent announcement to target more financial help to low income and vulnerable households (including £650 one-off payment for households on means-tested benefits, and an extra £200 for all energy bill payers that will not have to be repaid) is a step in the right direction. The concerns of third sector organisations, dedicated public figures and low-income households experiencing real hardship are finally being heard. We still believe there is much more that the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak can do to help the public to navigate an unprecedented increase in the cost of living, which is likely to get worse after Autumn; The Equality Trust will continue to work with other charities and keep the pressure on the government to ensure that low income and vulnerable households do not get pushed further into poverty and destitution through the cost of living crisis through no fault of their own. 

In particular, we are keen for the government to recognise that poverty and inequality are long term structural issues which require long term and cross-government strategies beyond the Levelling Up agenda. Immediate economic policy measures are important to help struggling households through times of crisis, such as COVID-19 and now cost of living crisis, but we must tackle the root causes of poverty and inequality in this country so that inequality does not worsen, and the same groups are not repeatedly at risk of poverty and destitution during times of national crisis.  These are among the many key messages that our Executive Director, Dr Zubaida Haque has been sharing with the media, including recently in I news and ITV. Towards the end of the month, The Equality Trust chaired a ‘Structural Inequalities Alliance’ webinar, with experts from mental health, housing, immigration and the disability sector – looking at how the drop in living standards would affect long term structural inequalities in our country.

As always, we are delighted to update you on the ongoing progress of our research, campaigns and our brilliant local groups over the past month, as well as providing information on how you can get involved.

#EqualPay50 Campaign

To continue the launch of our Achieving Equal Pay in your Workplace toolkit our senior campaigns officer Sophi Berridge spoke at a fringe event at the FDA conference where she discussed equal pay, the gender pay gap and promoted the new equal pay toolkit.

Following the success of our toolkit launch we will be hosting a series of events focusing on how the resource can be used to help tackle unequal pay in different sectors. The next webinar in the series will raise the issue of equal pay in the education sector.

Join us on Tue, 14 Jun 2022 at 17:00 for Achieving Equal Pay for Equal Work in Education

You will have the opportunity to hear from guest speakers as they discuss the equality of pay in leadership: achieving equal pay and parity for women leaders and equal pay case studies along with other examples of addressing the gender pay gap in schools.

CEO Remuneration and Economic Inequality

Over the course of the AGM season we have been attending the AGMs of targeted FTSE-100 companies alongside supporters and asking them to challenge sky-high executive pay.

As part of our campaign we joined together with the Trade Union Congress and High Pay Centre to call on the FTSE-350 to take action on unfair executive pay practices in our open letter. The open letter, which was covered in the Financial Times, sets our recommendations for the companies to commit to a new settlement in the workplace that provides a good standard of living for all, you can read the full open letter here.

If you would like to be involved in this campaign or attend one of the AGMs please get in touch with Sophi Berridge

Employment Rights and Young People

Complete a survey to support our work with young people!

To develop our project ‘Employment Rights and Young People’, we are asking young people to fill out a quick survey, to hear directly from those working in the labour market about their knowledge of employment rights and their experiences at work.

The survey will be used to inform the future direction of our work with young people on supporting them to increase their knowledge around their rights and entitlements at work.

If you are aged 16-24 and would like to take part in the survey and receive a £15 cash prize in exchange for your time, please complete this survey*.

*(The prize is only available to the first 30 respondents in the age group 16-24 years who complete the full survey and provide us with their email address.)

You can also view our newly launched school resources that aim to enable secondary school students to gain an understanding of their rights in the workplace – and how these can be upheld – before they join the world of work. 

To download and use the resources head to our website or the TES website.

Local Activism and Local Empowerment

We would like to thank our local groups for their continued hard work pushing tackling inequality onto the agenda in their local communities. 

To continue our bi-monthly workshops we have been working closely with Fair Tax Foundation and Just Fair UK to prepare our next workshop session. The upcoming workshop will cover the topic of tax justice. 

Local Groups workshop – backing tax justice in your local area on Mon, 13 Jun 2022 at 7:00pm

During the session we will hear from guest speakers; Sara Hall from Tax Justice UK, who will talk about why we need tax justice and how we might get there, Mary Patel from the Fair Tax Foundation will introduce the Councils for Fair Tax campaign and how you can get involved  and Councillor Martin Pearce will outline how local campaigners encouraged Exeter City Council to adopt the Councils for Fair Tax Declaration and why the council wanted to get on board.

If you are keen to find how you can get involved, come along to see the role you can play at a local level to raise awareness & campaign for change. 

Socio Economic Duty

This month our Policy and Research Assistant, Imogen Richmond Bishop, and Senior Campaigns Officer, Sophi Berridge, spoke at a #1forEquality event discussing the socio-economic duty alongside colleagues from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Tai Pawb, and Helen Flynn from Just Fair. They discussed what inequality looks like in the UK as well as our work on the socio-economic duty, with a particular focus on how involving experts by lived experience in the process makes the enactment more impactful and meaningful.

You can re-watch the full event here.

The inequality of disability… the new normal

On Wednesday the 22nd of June, from 1:00pm- 2:00pm, The Equality Trust with Disability Rights UK and the Disability Policy Centre are organising a free public online roundtable event on disability and structural inequalities.

 To register your interest in this event, click here

We look forward to working with you as always and would love you to get involved in our projects. If you are interested in hearing more about our projects on socio-economic duty, equal and fair pay and young people and inequality please get in touch!

The Equality Trust Team