Government launches panel to investigate workplace inequality

The government is to launch a National Equality Panel to investigate why inequality still exists in the workplace.

The panel,which will be independent and consist of academic experts in inequality, will be chaired by Professor John Hills and go live by the end of 2009.

It will examine data over the last 10 years as well as the latest information and will also commission research where necessary. Its remit will be to investigate how people’s life chances are affected by gender, race, disability, age and other aspects of inequality, such as where they were born, what kind of family they were born into, where they live and their wealth. It will also provide a factual analysis of how equality trends have changed over the last ten years and map out exactly where gaps have narrowed and widened in society

Groups and organisations have been invited to submit evidence for consideration once the panel starts its work in October.

Speaking at the Trades Union congress, Harriet Harman, minister for women and equality, said: “To advance equality through our public policy, we need clarity of evidence and focus on the gaps in society and how they have changed over the last ten years. The robust evidence base that the panel will produce will help us properly target measures to address persisting equality gaps and build on the good work that we have already done.”