Building working class power. TUC Technical Report
Building working class power [link]Paper  abstract   bibtex   
The TUC was founded to advance the “general interests of the working classes”, and that remains our core mission today. [...] Researchers have shown that some of the ways that class discrimination operates in the workplace can be subtle. It can affect what type of knowledge is valued, who gets mentored or opportunities to get on, or who gets invited to networking events which may give opportunities for promotion.[23 A joined-up approach Although any one of the three methods we propose could have a positive impact on combating discrimination and disadvantage on the grounds of class, the three proposals would be best implemented together as they are mutually supportive in tackling the different forms of discrimination experienced by working class people. Socio-economic duty: this tackles systemic discrimination –structural discrimination stemming from public policy decisions at national, regional and local level For example: the greater impacts of austerity on working-class households Class pay gap reporting: this tackles institutional discrimination – the failure of employers to have workplace policies that improve awareness of socio-economic disadvantage and prevent class-based discrimination For example: failing to have a recruitment strategy that is intended to promote applications from candidates with a wide variety of backgrounds or only having links with schools from affluent areas Making discrimination on the basis of class unlawful,: this tackles Individual discrimination For example: recruitment processes and decisions that favour candidates from privileged backgrounds 1. A socio-economic duty The Equality Act 2010 set out a socio-economic duty on public bodies. This was aimed at ensuring that all government departments and key public bodies placed tackling inequality at the heart of their decision making and that the “persistent inequality of social class, your family background or where you were born” was addressed in a systematic way[24]. However, this part of the Equality Act has not been enacted by successive UK governments. The power of a positive duty on public bodies is important in that organisations are required to justify and explain their decisions openly. The duty would not only promote the transparency and accountability of decision-makers but would mean that failure to deliver against the duty could result in legal challenge. [...] Economic inequality is not only the cause of discrimination but also the consequence. People from a range of groups already protected under the Equality Act 2010 would particularly benefit from additional protections around socio economic disadvantage. The inclusion of a new protected group could protect people from being discriminated against in a range of ways. Direct discrimination e.g. failure to shortlist a candidate based on their postcode being in a less affluent area, Indirect discrimination (most cases would be likely to fall under this) – e.g. unpaid internship listed as an essential requirement for a job Harassment - e.g. a manager creating a humiliating and offensive environment by makes disparaging and offensive comments about an employee’s ability based on negative stereotypes of working-class people. Victimisation - e.g. treating an individual unfairly because they have complained about an act of discrimination. Inclusion in the Equality Act 2010 as a protected characteristic would mean that employers could undertake positive action both in terms of steps such as training and information provision and ‘tie break’ recruitment situations. Multiple discrimination In order to ensure that a new protected characteristic could be used most effectively to address the disadvantage experienced by those groups that are already covered by the Act, it would be helpful for it to be introduced alongside a provision for multiple discrimination. There is already an unenacted provision in the Equality Act 2010 relating to dual discrimination, however the reality of intersectional discrimination is such that it often involves more than two protected characteristics. It would therefore be more useful in challenging intersectional discrimination if individuals could take cases forward which incorporate the combined nature of the discrimination that they face.
@techreport{tuc_building_nodate,
	title = {Building working class power},
	url = {https://www.tuc.org.uk/research-analysis/reports/building-working-class-power},
	abstract = {The TUC was founded to advance the “general interests of the working classes”, and that remains our core mission today. [...]
Researchers have shown that some of the ways that class discrimination operates in the workplace can be subtle. It can affect what type of knowledge is valued, who gets mentored or opportunities to get on, or who gets invited to networking events which may give opportunities for promotion.[23
 
A joined-up approach
Although any one of the three methods we propose could have a positive impact on combating discrimination and disadvantage on the grounds of class, the three proposals would be best implemented together as they are mutually supportive in tackling the different forms of discrimination experienced by working class people.
Socio-economic duty: this tackles systemic discrimination –structural discrimination stemming from public policy decisions at national, regional and local level
For example: the greater impacts of austerity on working-class households
 
Class pay gap reporting: this tackles institutional discrimination – the failure of employers to have workplace policies that improve awareness of socio-economic disadvantage and prevent class-based discrimination
For example: failing to have a recruitment strategy that is intended to promote applications from candidates with a wide variety of backgrounds or only having links with schools from affluent areas
 
Making discrimination on the basis of class unlawful,: this tackles Individual discrimination
For example: recruitment processes and decisions that favour candidates from privileged backgrounds
1. A socio-economic duty

The Equality Act 2010 set out a socio-economic duty on public bodies. This was aimed at ensuring that all government departments and key public bodies placed tackling inequality at the heart of their decision making and that the “persistent inequality of social class, your family background or where you were born” was addressed in a systematic way[24].
However, this part of the Equality Act has not been enacted by successive UK governments.
The power of a positive duty on public bodies is important in that organisations are required to justify and explain their decisions openly. The duty would not only promote the transparency and accountability of decision-makers but would mean that failure to deliver against the duty could result in legal challenge.
[...]
Economic inequality is not only the cause of discrimination but also the consequence. People from a range of groups already protected under the Equality Act 2010 would particularly benefit from additional protections around socio economic disadvantage.
The inclusion of a new protected group could protect people from being discriminated against in a range of ways. 
Direct discrimination e.g. failure to shortlist a candidate based on their postcode being in a less affluent area,
Indirect discrimination (most cases would be likely to fall under this) – e.g. unpaid internship listed as an essential requirement for a job
Harassment - e.g. a manager creating a humiliating and offensive environment by makes disparaging and offensive comments about an employee’s ability based on negative stereotypes of working-class people.
Victimisation - e.g. treating an individual unfairly because they have complained about an act of discrimination.
Inclusion in the Equality Act 2010 as a protected characteristic would mean that employers could undertake positive action both in terms of steps such as training and information provision and ‘tie break’ recruitment situations.
Multiple discrimination

In order to ensure that a new protected characteristic could be used most effectively to address the disadvantage experienced by those groups that are already covered by the Act, it would be helpful for it to be introduced alongside a provision for multiple discrimination. There is already an unenacted provision in the Equality Act 2010 relating to dual discrimination, however the reality of intersectional discrimination is such that it often involves more than two protected characteristics. It would therefore be more useful in challenging intersectional discrimination if individuals could take cases forward which incorporate the combined nature of the discrimination that they face.},
	language = {en},
	urldate = {2020-06-09},
	author = {TUC}
}
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