engage magazine issue 001 spring \'06 - Page 15

NEWS FOCUS 15 News New business network for disabled entrepreneurs A new business network targeting disabled entrepreneurs has been launched. “Independence”, which has been set up by the London Development Agency (LDA) and Right to Write, a company working with dyslexic adults, will provide advice and support services to both start-ups and established businesses. It will also provide a range of services including workshops and events, information on accessing funding and “in work benefits”, access to a business “health-check” and networking opportunities. It will also address some of the main barriers faced by disabled entrepreneurs, such as difficulty in getting relevant business advice and the fear of losing the security of regular benefits. The website - www.inde. org.uk – through which disabled entrepreneurs will be able to network and share information. Two new IPA training courses address CRE Code of Practice On 28th March 2006, the IPA launched two new training courses to comply with a new Code of Practice from the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE). The Code of Practice aims to prevent race discrimination in the workplace and came into effect on 6th of April 2006. The courses, called Team Leaders and Team Members, cover not just race, but gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion and belief, as well as the age discrimination regulations that come into force in October 2006. The Team Leaders course runs for half a day and is designed for anyone managing other people, and will cover issues including how to recruit fairly, diversity monitoring, the employer’s liability for its employees’ actions and dealing with harassment using case studies. The Team Members course is a one and a half hour course intended for all agency staff and will centre on discrimination awareness including harassment, direct and indirect discrimination. The Code states that there must be discrimination awareness training for all staff, a diversity action plan must be in order, a named person at each company will be responsible for the code’s enforcement, and ethnic monitoring records must be kept. The new Code is not statutory, but employers failing to abide by it will be subject to the increased possibility of employee tribunals, which carry the risks of unlimited damages, substantial legal costs and negative publicity. For more information please contact Mary Budd at mary@ipa.co.uk or 020 72018265. More women in employment Women’s employment has increased from 56 per cent in 1971 to 70 per cent in 2005 - indicating that 4 million more women are in work over the last 35 or so years. Over the 10 years to spring 2005, the employment rate for married or cohabiting mothers increased by 6 percentage points and the employment rate for lone mothers by 14 per cent, reflecting increases in both full-time and part-time employment. The figures are highlighted in Labour Market Review 2006, a new report from the Office for National Statistics. Government to employ 500 debt advisers Forty-five million pounds is being handed out by the government to employ 500 independent debt advisers over the next two years. The money will be used to help thousands of people in England and Wales gain personal advice on how to cope with their debts. The money, from the government’s Financial Inclusion Fund, is being channelled to a number of organisations such as the Citizens Advice Bureaux. The government said it was part of its strategy to combat over-indebtedness. SPRING ISSUE 2006 engage