Labour Research July 2012

Union news

Equality reps

Most union equality reps believe they are having a positive impact on employers’ equality practices, according to the first national survey of equality reps. However, there is evidence that their effectiveness is limited by the amount of time they are able to spend on this activity.

The survey finds that 85% of equality reps hold another union post, which the report authors suggest may be due to the fact that equality reps do not have statutory rights to time off.

Just over half of equality reps (55%) are male. However, among those for whom the role is their first experience of union representation, 60% are female and 26% are from an ethnic minority background.

The role and impact of trade union equality representatives in Britain, Nicolas Bacon and Kim Hoque, British Journal of Industrial Relations, June 2012.