…in brief

This week’s news in brief

EOC backs NI plans

The Equal Opportunities Commission has backed government plans to investigate
reforming the National Insurance scheme to cover more women. Many women fail to
build up enough credits for a full state pension.  www.eoc.org.uk

CRE extends reach

The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) is to place more emphasis on
supporting race equality work in rural areas such as north Wales and Scotland.
The CRE is set to award a total of £796,000 to 22 Race Equality Councils and
community-based organisations across Britain.  www.cre.gov.uk

More claim benefit

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows the number of
people without jobs in the three months to April rose by 36,000 on the previous
quarter to 1,495,000. The number of jobless claiming benefit leapt by 9,700
last month – the biggest jump for more than 10 years.  www.statistics.gov.uk

Gender priorities

An initiative to encourage government departments to focus on key gender
priorities was launched last week by DTI minister Patricia Hewitt. It sets out
priorities in areas including childcare, equal pay, flexible working, public
appointments and domestic violence. 

Fire dispute settled

The long-running fire-fighters’ dispute has ended with agreement after Fire
Brigade Union members voted three to one in favour of a 16 per cent pay
increase at a special union conference in Glasgow last week. The deal also
includes modernisation of the Fire Service and consultation about changes.  

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