workplace policy

Driving Forward Gender Equality in Europe: Combating Discrimination in the Workplace and Beyond

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Thon Hotel Brussels City Centre

Thursday 2nd July 2015


Carolina Lasen Diaz
Head of the Gender Equality Unit
Council of Europe

The Council of Europe has endorsed universality, access to quality care, equity, and solidarity as common values and principles underpinning the health systems of the EU Member States. However, certain marginalised groups, such as people living with HIV, the LGBT community or sex workers are still ‘hard to reach’ for health services.

With discriminatory gender roles still compromising the health and well-being of women and girls in Europe there is a pressing need to address the range of barriers women can face in accessing health services.

This timely International Symposium continues the debate on how to work towards an EU-wide policy framework on gender equality and non-discriminatory access to healthcare. The Symposium provides a key platform for the discussion of a better European regulatory framework aimed at strengthening prevention, protection and inclusion of women.

For further details, visit the website. Feel free to circulate this information and click here to book online.

Seeking SMES to showcase best practice around pregnancy and maternity

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Good practice in managing pregnancy, maternity and breastfeeding in the workplace

 Background to the project

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is conducting a comprehensive research project in partnership with BIS[1], into pregnancy and maternity in the workplace. In Spring 2015, alongside the research findings, the EHRC will launch a suite of good practice materials showing how employers manage pregnancy, maternity and return to work in a productive way, and the benefits of retaining women in the workforce.

What we need from you

The aim of the project is to showcase practical solutions to common challenges faced by employers and demonstrate how issues are resolvable in a cost effective way that brings benefits to businesses and to employees.

 We are looking for around 24 case studies of employers of different sizes and from different industries on a range of subjects including:

Pregnancy including effective communication, protection of women’s health and safety, options for maternity cover,

  • Maternity leave including managing absence, financial support, appropriate communication, use of KIT days, planning the return, discussion of flexible working,
  • Returning to work following maternity leave, including managing any changes to the job, offer of necessary training, flexible working,
  • Positive management of and attitudes to breastfeeding in the workplace,
  • Supporting fathers to be involved in the pregnancy, leave and beyond,
  • Using the period of maternity leave to provide developmental opportunities for more junior staff, and other creative approaches,
  • Informing managers of their obligations to ensure compliance,
  • Ways of maintaining good communication and collaboration with employees and throughout the organisation to avoid disputes arising.

If you have good practice and agree to take part we will conduct a short, filmed interview with you, which will be made available online, alongside a description of your practice.

The materials will be promoted to employers within different sectors and will be featured on a prominent section of EHRC’s website.

Your Employment Settlement Service (which provides legal advice to resolve workplace disputes) is working with Maternity Action to identify good practice, with the support of Working Families. If you can help please contact Camilla Palmer at YESS (cpalmer at yesslaw dot org dot uk; 020 3701 7530)