Equality Audit

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The biennial TUC equality audits came out of an important TUC rule change in 2001, which committed the TUC and unions to promote equality in all aspects of our work. The first audit was carried out in 2003 and provided a yardstick of equality issues in all union activities. Since then the audits have alternated between focusing on how unions pursue equality issues through collective bargaining and on how union membership, rules and internal structures reflect the diversity of the workforce.

The most recent TUC Equality Audit was carried out in 2011. It focused on equality in trade unions' membership and internal structures. 48 out of 55 affiliates responded to the survey. As large unions were more likely to respond than smaller unions, the audit covers 97% of the 6.5 million trade union members that the TUC represents.

The Audit shows more unions are reaching out to women, black workers, disabled workers, lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGBT) workers and young workers through targeted membership recruitment campaigns. More unions are monitoring not just their membership but the make-up of their shop stewards and executive bodies so they can see where different groups are under-represented. There has also been a significant increase in the proportion of unions who have taken action to encourage women members to play an active role within the union, either as a shop steward or branch official. And, although still a minority, the proportion of unions using reserved seats to ensure a more diverse and representative executive body and Congress delegation has increased too.

The next TUC Equality Audit will be carried out in 2012. It will focus on trade unions' efforts to further equality in the workplace through collective bargaining. 


Commenting on the report on women in the workplace published today (Thursday) by the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee, TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady said:
20 June 2013
It is nearly 10 years since the TUC carried out its first audit of trade unions' equality structures and collective bargaining activities. Over that time we have seen some significant achievements in the workplace and steady improvements in how trade unions have responded to a more diverse workforce and membership...
19 September 2012
Responding to the announcement today (Tuesday) that the government is to cut the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) budget, outsource its helpline and scale back the public sector equalities duty, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:
15 May 2012
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).
14 September 2009
Progress on Bargaining for Equality at Work
14 September 2009
The TUC 2007 Equality Audit published today (Monday) has highlighted a major recruitment drive for migrant workers across the trade union movement, reflecting unions' rapid response to the changing make-up of the labour market.
10 September 2007
This seminar is aimed at trade union reps who want to take forward equality issues in their workforce.
18 May 2007
The TUC's second biennial equality audit published today (Tuesday) shows that people employed in workplaces with a trade union presence are likely to have a better work/life balance and face less discrimination at work than individuals in non-unionised workplaces.
06 September 2005