Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Women workers and the cuts - an unfinished case study

I was hoping today to hear more from an employer by way of justification about the apparently discriminatory impact of some specific spending cuts proposals to which I referred last week (http://jonrogers1963.blogspot.com/2011/03/unequal-cuts.html).

International Women's Day might after all had been a good day for an explanation of the statistically significant over representation of women workers amongst those at risk of redundancy in a particular department (and an explanation which went beyond the observation that more women are at risk because the employer is deleting more of the jobs which are disproportionately done by women). Unfortunately our union branch was still waiting for a response when I left the office.

Where employers have a gender equality duty it can't be right that this can be discharged simply by the preparation of an equality impact assessment if nothing is then done when a disproportionate impact is assessed. Pressing ahead with a restructure which falls more heavily upon women must surely amount to indirect discrimination?

To say that women are hit harder in a restructure because the organisation is choosing to delete more of the jobs mostly done by women begs the question of why management value those jobs less highly.

In the face of the tidal wave of redundancy consultation information engulfing rank and file lay trade union activists at present, today is a particularly good day to remember that fighting for equality and against discrimination must remain central to our defence of public services and our opposition to cuts.

Solidarity on International Women's Day!

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

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