General Reports and Other Publications
JRF: Incidents of migrants being forced to work in appalling conditions have been found in Northern Ireland, according to a report. The first study of its kind about NI found evidence of poor working conditions, low pay, restricted freedom of movement, and verbal and physical abuse.
The study, Forced labour in Northern Ireland: Exploiting vulnerability, was carried out by a team at the Institute for Conflict Studies at Belfast University for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The areas studied included the fishing, mushroom and catering industries. It found a small number of migrants were working in modern-day slavery conditions.
Newswire – CBI: Launching its latest Climate Change Tracker last week, the CBI said the Government had set the wheels in motion in a number of key areas, including providing more clarity on Climate Change Agreements and funding for the Green Investment Bank. But it warned that investor confidence remains low, with the UK falling from 5th to 13th in a global ranking of low-carbon investment.
IFS: Two papers published last week by the Institute for Fiscal Studies and funded by the Nuffield Foundation show that:
* Households receiving the winter fuel payment are almost 14 times as likely to spend the money on fuel than would have been the case had their incomes been increased in other ways
* But in very cold weather it remains the case that the poorest pensioners cut back on spending on food to finance the additional cost of heating their homes.
Newswire – HPA: In a report released by the Health Protection Agency to mark the 30 year anniversary of the first HIV diagnosis on 5 June 1981 in Los Angeles, epidemiologists are predicting that the number living with HIV in the UK will hit 100,000 by 2012. Today, individuals diagnosed with the infection in the early stages can expect a normal life span compared with the first decades of the global epidemic when HIV was fatal.
Newswire – WWF: Leading global insurer RSA and environmental organisation WWF recently released a comprehensive report on the future of renewable energy and outlined a challenging vision for 100% adoption of renewable energy to meet the world’s energy needs by 2050. It finds that the current ‘business as usual’ attitude to energy production & consumption is simply not sustainable and that it is possible to achieve an almost 100% renewable energy solution within the next 4 decades.
As well as exploring the environmental benefits of a greater shift to renewable energy, the report also addresses the greater economic benefits, with the renewable energy sector powering the next generation of manufacturing industries and in turn creating many thousands of new jobs.
Ofsted: An Ofsted report on economics, business & enterprise education has found that some students achieving good results on vocational business courses are failing to develop appropriate levels of knowledge, understanding & higher level skills.
The report, ‘Economics, business and enterprise education’ draws on evidence from lesson observations, scrutiny of written work & discussion with students and brings into question the case for claiming that such courses are equivalent to between 2 & 4 single award, traditionally examined GCSEs at Key Stage 4.
Deloitte: Premier League clubs’ revenue reached a record £2,030m in 2009/10 and will have exceeded £2.2bn in 2010/11 in the first season under new broadcast deals, according to the 20th Annual Review of Football Finance from the Sports Business Group at Deloitte. In total, the top 92 English clubs saw revenues increase by 5% to almost £2.7 billion in 2009/10.
However, for a second successive year the increase in Premier League clubs’ total wage costs of £64m (5%) exceeded the rise in revenue (£49m), driving total wages up to over £1.4bn and resulting in a record wages/revenue ratio of 68%.
ippr: Two-thirds of people believe the gap between the highest & lowest earners in their workplace is too large, according to polling in a new report published last week by IPPR. The report – Getting what we deserve? Attitudes to pay, reward and desert – says that government, business & unions should do more to make pay fairer in UK businesses.
It shows that the disproportionate influence of the finance sector is behind much of the massive increase in executive pay over the last 30 years and explains how excessive bonuses are paid to a small number of top earners, yet ordinary workers often see no extra money when their organisation is doing well.
On average, the public think that CEOs deserve 65% less than they actually earn. Top pay in the public sector is also seen as too high, with people believing that the CEO of a large council should earn 24% less.
NO: The Health Service Ombudsman, Ann Abraham, has named a Staffordshire dentist who has repeatedly ignored calls from professional bodies to apologise to a patient following her complaint. This is the first time Ms Abraham has published a report specifically to alert Parliament to a health care professional’s refusal to put things right following a complaint.
PC&PE: The Government’s desire to deliver localism is neither supported consistently across Whitehall nor implemented coherently by each department of state, says the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee. MPs also warn that the ministers have so far produced no compelling vision of what their imagined localist future will look like.
In addition, MPs call for a more explicit statement about where the dividing line will be drawn between a central, light-touch framework for local services and unwarranted interference from ministers in local affairs. So far, the committee says, the Government has shown itself all too eager to impose its preferences on local decision-making.
DWP: Government support for employment services for disabled people should be focused on the individual and not the institution, so disabled people can access jobs across the economy, according to an independent report published last week.
The review into employment services for disabled people by RADAR Chief Executive Liz Sayce, recommends changes to Government policy to support disabled people to work in any role in any sector – rather than in segregated employment.
NAO: The Department of Health has until recently been focusing on speed of response as a measure of performance of the ambulance service, rather than on clinical outcomes for patients, the National Audit Office reports. The ambulance service achieves high levels of public satisfaction but there are wide variations in ambulance trusts’ efficiency and the NAO concludes that the system has not delivered the best value for money to date.
The NAO estimates that if all 11 trusts adopted the best practice currently being used in at least one trust, this could save the NHS £165m a year. The elements of the emergency care system are not yet fully integrated and this leads to delays in turnaround times at hospital A&Es.
SFA: The Skills Funding Agency has highlighted that, following legislative changes introduced by DWP, Jobcentre Plus Offices were issued with guidance explaining that the sharing of active benefit claimant information between Jobcentre Plus, Skills Providers and Next Step contractors without the need to obtain their informed consent is now possible. Jobcentre Plus and DWP are currently developing further information on this and they will forward this when it is available.