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News & EventsNEWS - The pay gap between men and women in Britain is one of the worst in Europe, but this is not the fault of employers, a government-appointed commission concluded today.
A report by the Women and Work Commission made 40 "business-friendly" recommendations aimed at boosting pay and opportunities for women after it found that women were paid on average 17% less than men. The gap among part-time workers was 38%, it found.
Tony Blair responded to the report, which he commissioned in 2004, by appointing the culture secretary and minister for women, Tessa Jowell, to produce an action plan to take up the recommendations.
NEWS - How the baby shortage threatens our future
Britain's baby drought is fast becoming one of this country's most pressing long-term problems. A new think tank report reveals that, while some women are happy to remain childless, others are desperate to conceive. It's just that the problems of juggling motherhood and a career are becoming intolerable.
A report bty the IPPR argues that women have not suddenly stopped wanting children: a life of long working hours, expensive childcare and dual-income mortgages has simply made it too hard. Or as Shirley Conran, author and mother of two, puts it, modern motherhood 'is a rotten deal, and if it wasn't wrapped up in sentiment and we weren't affected by our hormones, no one would consider it'.
NEWS - Total overhaul for child support - Tony Blair has admitted the system is failing: A review which could lead to a complete re-design of the Child Support Agency is be announced by ministers. Work Secretary John Hutton will also announce interim plans to use private debt collectors to try to recoup the existing £3bn owed by absent parents. The CSA will get more powers to chase those who refuse to pay maintenance.
The Lib Dems said it was a "shambles" that a new review was only now being launched when the agency's failings had been known and acknowledged for years. news.bbc.co.uk www.csa.gov.uk the Child Support Agency website, including link to the ongoing plan and a summary of the findings.
EVENT - The Fire Kills campaign is supporting National Chip Week (13 – 19 February) by urging people to cook chips safely. Around 8,200 chip/fat pan fires result in 34 deaths and nearly 3,000 injuries in the UK each year so it is vital to reduce fire hazards and cook safely.
When cooking chips in a conventional chip pan everyone should follow these fire safety tips - not just during National Chip Week but all year round:
· Never fill a chip pan with over a third full of oil or fat.
· Never be tempted to cook with a chip pan after consuming alcohol.
· Don’t take risks by tackling a fire. Get out, stay out and dial 999.
· Never throw water on a chip pan. This will cause it to explode into a fireball causing severe burns to anyone nearby.
· Have an escape route planned so everyone knows what to do in the event of a fire.
· Install a working smoke alarm in your home and test it regularly.
For further advice on fire safety visit www.firekills.gov.uk or order a free copy of the fire prevention handbook by calling 08456 087 087 or visiting the website.
NEWS - Babies to be given 25 vaccinations in a year - Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson said the extra vaccinations would save at least 50 lives a year. But campaigners fear that children are already being given too many jabs. Concern has been high since claims of a link between the triple MMR vaccine and autism.
Jackie Fletcher, of the pressure group JABS, said: "Our main concern is that the Government is ratcheting up the number of vaccines for under-twos, adding yet more to the huge number they already receive. www.dailymail.co.uk
NEWS - Nursery costs soar - The average cost of a full-time nursery place in Britain has reached £7,400 a year, according to the Daycare Trust. The typical charge for a full-time place for a child aged under two is now £142 a week, its research suggests.
The trust says childcare costs have risen significantly above inflation in the last year, with Scotland up by 8% and Wales up by 7%. The cost of a full-time place in England has risen 27% since 2000, it adds. Charges are highest in London.
More:news.bbc.co.uk www.communitynewswire.press.net news.scotsman.com society.guardian.co.uk
Event: Hackney Women’s Networking Lunch
Date: Thursday 16th February
Time: 12.30 – 14.00
Venue: START London, 59 Rivington Street, London EC2
Guest Speaker: Philip Start, owner, START London
Tickets: £15 Members, £20 Non-members, available via www.womensjunction.co.uk or 0845 450 1420
This popular monthly event gives business women from across Hackney the opportunity to meet and network with their peers, making new contacts with potential customers and suppliers. The guest speaker will be Philip Start, owner of exclusive clothing store START London. He will talk about his success in the fashion industry and share his secrets for business success. Mini-makeovers and fashion tips will also be on offer, as will a chance to browse in the shop.
EVENTS - International Women's Day 2006: Inspiring Potential (Wed 8 March)
International Women's Day (IWD) inspires women to achieve their full potential. Celebrated globally from Alaska to Zambia, IWD has been recognized since 1908 to highlight women's equality worldwide. Use this site: www.internationalwomensday.com to locate IWD activity in your local area and to read about the progressive organisations supporting International Womens Day in 2006.
NEWS - 1 Feb 2006 - Finding good quality, affordable childcare can be one of the biggest challenges facing parents, but employers could be doing a lot more to lessen the hassle and ease the financial burden on employees, often at no great cost to themselves, says the TUC today.
Launching a new childcare guide to help unions find the best ways of encouraging employers to make workplaces better meet the needs of working parents, the guide says offering good childcare support often makes it easier for employers to recruit and retain staff.
’Who’s looking after the children?’ says employers might want to consider opening a workplace nursery that offers cheaper places to staff. Or it suggests, a group of employers in a locality might choose to come together to offer a crèche for all employees to use. Childcare vouchers - which are tax exempt for both employer and employee - or childcare subsidies are other popular ways of helping parents survive the childcare years.
Previous News & EventsFebruary 2010
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