Inequality costs “£1m per hour”

Committed2Equality (c2e)  has calculated that in the last 12 months unfair practices cost employers £1.7bn – almost £1m every working hour. 

The theme of the disparity of employment practices in the UK that will be explored at a fringe event at the Labour Party conference on 24 September.  The event, “Bridging The Gap: Narrowing the employment divide”, will explore the practical and pragmatic steps the government needs to take to ensure fair employment and improve the employment and work opportunities for disadvantaged groups.

Commenting on the widening gender pay gap Janet Lakhani, chief executive of c2e said: “The latest damning statistics from the Employment Tribunal Service this week underlines the fact that unfair employment practices have increased, with a further 37,000 claims being made last year.

“That rise masks a 150% increase in equal pay claims, underlining the fact that employers need to change the way they employ. Being employed fairly is a basic human right, which is why there is a need for urgent government action.  Unless employers are expected and helped to act fairly, this trend – and the associated costs to the economy – will continue to spiral out of control.”

c2e will be co-hosting the evening with Unite, the largest union in the UK, and TMP, the online political magazine, which will take place in the Franklin Suite at the Connaught Hotel, Bournemouth, on Monday 24th of September from 5.30-7.00pm. 

Speakers on the panel include: Barbara Follett MP, Minister of Equality; Harry Cohen MP; Derek Simpson, Secretary General of Unite (tbc); Jonathan Baldrey, Chief Executive of Talent; Chuka Umunna, an employment lawyer and editor of TMP; Afsana Shukur, Senior Executive, Serco; and Janet Lakhani, Chief Executive of c2e.

Reiterating c2e’s concerns, Chuka Umunna said: “Employment and pay gaps still remain despite the extension of anti-discrimination legislation under this government.  Tackling these continuing problems must surely be part of the government’s strategy to win back the 4.5 million votes lost since 1997 – there is both a moral and a political imperative to address them.”

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