Research reports

‘The impact of UK coalition government policies on disabled workers’ (2015)

PIRU’s study indicates that in the last four years there has been a deterioration in the workplace experiences and long-term job prospects of disabled workers. The study collected information from 137 disabled workers and 141 organisations; and was produced for Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC). The study covers the private, public and voluntary sectors. Principal findings include:
• Employer attitudes towards disabled workers have deteriorated in the last four years.
• Zero hours contracts are causing particular problems for disabled workers, including as result of the high levels of ill-treatment associated with these contracts.
• Unlawful discrimination, including harassment and unlawful dismissal, appears to have been increasing.
• There has been a reduction in organisational support for disabled workers and an increased emphasis on discipline.
• The study identified 24 major cuts to equality and employment law protections since 2010. These cuts were starting to have adverse impacts on disabled workers.
With the introduction of tribunal fees, disabled workers were finding it hard or impossible to enforce the rights which remain.
Click here to see the press release and report.

‘Race Back from Equality – has the CRE been breaching race equality law and has race equality law been working?’ (2007)

In the wake of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry, the ‘racial’ equality duties were introduced to combat institutional discrimination on the part of ‘public authorities’.

This research attempted to better determine whether these laws have been working; and whether the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) – the statutory body charged with their oversight and enforcement – has itself complied with them. It also, however, took a preliminary look at how, in more general terms, the CRE has directed its efforts over the last five years and with what results.

Click here to download a pdf of Race Back From Equality.

‘Teeth and their use-enforcement action by the three equality commissions’ (2006)

The report looks at the use that the three equality Commissions (Commission for Racial Equality, Disability Rights Commission, and Equal Opportunities Commission) made of their direct enforcement powers between 1 January 1999 and 1 June 2006; considers the impacts that the Equality Act 2006 could have on enforcement of the equality enactments; and proposes changes designed to improve the effectiveness of the future Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR).

Click here to see the press release or download a pdf of the full report.

‘The End of the Beginning – a critical analysis of the first decade of the Disability Discrimination Act employment provisions’ (2005)

For this report, PIRU analysed employment tribunal and court cases, and documents from public authorities; interviewed lawyers, trade unions, employers and employees; and reviewed the existing literature.

The report identifies and assesses some of the factors which appear to have limited the Act’s success; considers the likely impact of the 2005 amendments; and makes proposals for further reducing employment discrimination.

Click here to see the press release or download a pdf of the executive summary of the report.

‘Trick and Treat – psychiatric treatment in old age in rural Wales’ (2004)

This preliminary report, based upon a limited number of in-depth interviews with patients, relatives and medical staff, and analysis (with informed consent) of medical records and hospital notes, indicates that some doctors were using powerful anti-psychotics inappropriately with some of their elderly patients. The problems it identifies include the drugs having been administered without agreement or valid consent; without good clinical reason; and despite there having been strong contra-indications, such as, for instance, the patient suffering from severe respiratory disease.

The recommendations include, for example, “a greater focus on prevention …. addressing the social and health factors associated with mental illness in old age. For instance, our research suggests that, in some nursing homes, it would be useful to facilitate greater social support among the patients themselves.”

Click here to see the press release.

PIR’s approach to research

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