Work-life balance is the most popular equality issue for union guidance

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date: 14 September 2009

embargo: For immediate release

Work-life balance guidance is the most requested equality issue, with two thirds of unions asked for pointers and advice, according to the TUC 2009 Equality Audit published today (Monday).

The audit found that 65 per cent of unions were asked for guidance on general equalities issues, 65 per cent being asked for work-life balance information, and 63 per cent receiving requests about women's pay and equality

The 2009 Audit shows that unions are now providing guidance on a wide range of equalities issues including women's pay and employment, disability, age, religion and migrant workers.

The Audit finds that more than half of the unions surveyed (51 per cent) successfully negotiate agreements for working parents and carers with employers, with 44 per cent securing work-life balance agreements and 37 per cent negotiating policies on age.

A total of 43 unions, representing more than 99 per cent of union membership, responded to the 2009 Equality Audit.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: 'Achieving fairness and equality in the workplace is a core issue for unions. Today's report shows that the best way to pursue this is through successful negotiation and collective bargaining.

'Unions have always led the way in calling more friendly family working rights. But unions have an even more important role in delivering a better work-life balance for workers up and down the country.

'It is great that unions are negotiating on such a wide range of issues, which affect all workers. Next year the Equality Bill will come into effect and unions, judging by the results of our Equality Audit, are well placed to ensure that these new rights make a real difference to people's lives.'

NOTES TO EDITORS:

- The TUC Equality Audit 2009 is available to download at www.tuc.org.uk/equalityaudit2009

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk

- Register for the TUC's press extranet: a service exclusive to journalists wanting to access pre-embargo releases and reports from the TUC. Visit www.tuc.org.uk/pressextranet

Contacts:

Media enquiries:
Liz Chinchen T: 020 7467 1248 M: 07778 158175 E: media@tuc.org.uk
Rob Holdsworth T: 020 7467 1372 M: 07717 531150 E: rholdsworth@tuc.org.uk
Elly Brenchley T: 020 7467 1337 M: 07900 910624 E: ebrenchley@tuc.org.uk

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