Young, gifted and black? Join the Equality and Human Rights Commission and be conned over your pay

Baroness Onora O'Neill: the chair of the ECHR Pic credit: Flickr

Baroness Onora O’Neill: the chair of the ECHR
Pic credit: Flickr

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is supposed to be the champion of the rights of ethnic minorities, the disabled and women against discrimination. It should be in favour of equal pay.

As a previous blog revealed its reputation is rather shaky when it comes to defending equality between men and women in the Middle East. Baroness Onora O’Neill, its part time chair, talks the big talk in the UK when  it comes defending women’s equal rights to men only to believe in her other position as a trustee of the  American University of Sharjah that women are second class citizens compared to men who are not allowed to meet privately with them as equals. I wonder whether she is allowed to be alone with a man when she is in Sharjah.

Now it turns out that her officials are quite happy to massage figures claiming the EHRC is making great progress in narrowing the pay gap between ethnic minorities and white people, the disabled  and the able-bodied and between women and men.

During recent pay negotiations with the PCS union the management  claimed that its new pay deal would reduce the gender, ethnic minority and disability pay gaps.  It turns out that the figures over ethnic minorities were false. Instead of narrowing the gap  from 15.5 per cent to 14.5 per cent it actually widened it to nearly 17 per cent. You can read the full story in Tribune magazine this week.

While there is a marginal improvement – narrowing the gap by 0.2 per cent for the disabled to 7.7 per cent – this figure is actually almost one per cent worse than in 2011.

You might wonder what the EHRC would do if they caught a private firm fiddling the figures and opening themselves to prosecution . Any clever barrister defending that firm would just have to say – well you lie about it yourself in the ECHR.

I did put this to the EHRC Ignoring their main point of my question the press office released this statement from the Commission:

“We negotiated with the Trade Unions (including PCS), to agree how to distribute the 1 per cent pay rise we are limited to by government. We agreed and implemented their proposal to pay more to those on lower pay grades and less to those on higher grades and made a slight adjustment to this.  Our adjustment was slightly more favourable towards BME staff than the Trade Unions’ initial proposals.”

Oh so the union clever enough to expose your flawed figures would be better giving up- because you can give  the staff a better deal just out of the generosity of your own heart. Really?

But the key point is if we can’t trust the body that fights for equal pay to be honest about what it is doing to narrow pay gaps, who can we trust?

10 thoughts on “Young, gifted and black? Join the Equality and Human Rights Commission and be conned over your pay

  1. ECHR and its predecessor race body has always been like this. In the old days it was riven by hatred between black and Asian workers, who all complained they were being discriminated in favour of the other group. Meanwhile, whitey sat back laughing.

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  2. Pingback: Join the EHRC and be conned over your pay – David Hencke | Vox Political

  3. Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    Baroness Onora O’Neill isn’t the only official ostensibly concerned with promoting equality, only to capitulate and become complicit in acting against it when it suits them. Previous issues of Private Eye this year covered the way the Law Society claimed that it was actively campaigning for female equality in Britain. The same Society was, however, quite content to see women discriminated against and treated as second class citizens in a series of seminars it ran on drawing up ‘shariah compliant’ wills. This seemed to follow the extremely conservative, strict interpretation of shariah held by Saudi Arabia, rather than more liberal interpretations that may be in use elsewhere. The interpretation favoured by the Law Society demanded that women be left less than men, and non-believers should not inherit anything. This makes you wonder how serious organisations like the Law Society, or the Equality and Human Rights Commission were about enforcing and promoting equality.

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    • That’s a very interesting comment, thank you. Anyone wanting sharia-anything should take their business to a country that condones sharia. We here in Britain do not. Or do we?

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  4. The EHRC stumbles from shambles to disaster, crushing the hopes of people from the equality communities underfoot. At a meeting with Scotland’s Parliamentary Equal Opportunities Committee, the EHRC were pressed on how many times they had taken a public body to court for not complying. The EHRC response ? : We have never taken a public authority in Scotland to court. We have never had to.

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