Weekly News Round-up 11/11/16

UK News

Court rules segregation in faith schools does not offend Equality Act

The issue before the court was whether a mixed school unlawfully discriminated against its male and/or female pupils by making “parallel arrangements” for their education in the same building or by applying a regime of “complete segregation” for all lessons, breaks, school clubs and trips.

There was no evidence that either girls or boys were treated unequally in terms of the quality of the education they received (in the sense of one sex receiving a lower quality of education than the other).

Full article here.

Lib Dem plot to force Government to hold a second referendum on Brexit terms

More than 80 MPs are plotting to stage a Parliamentary vote calling for a second Brexit referendum.

In a move that prompted anger from Conservative ministers a coalition of MPs led by Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat leader, said that they now intend to force a vote calling for another referendum of the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU.

Full article here.

Thousands of mothers ‘missing out’ on pension rights

Tens of thousands of parents – and mothers in particular – are in danger of missing out on some of their state pension rights, according to a study.

The reason is that they have decided to stop claiming child benefit. Stay-at-home mothers who claim the payments are given national insurance (NI) credits towards their pension, as if they were still at work.

But since January 2013, any parent earning more than £60,000 has had to pay child benefit back to the government, through the tax system. As a result, some people are no longer bothering to claim it in the first place.

Full article here.

Bedroom Tax Breaches Human Rights Laws Says Supreme Court

A number of disabled people appealed to the Supreme Court over the application of the bedroom tax to their cases.

Mrs Carmichael can’t share a bedroom with her partner because of her disabilities. Under the scheme, her family isn’t entitled to an extra room although a child in the same situation would be.

The Supreme Court said that the difference in treatment between children and adults was a breach of the human rights not to be discriminated against (article 14) and the protection of family and private life (article 8). The policy was “manifestly without reasonable foundation”.

Full article here.

Amazon drivers ‘work illegal hours’

Amazon delivery drivers regularly work “illegal” hours and receive less than the minimum wage, it has been claimed.

Drivers for agencies contracted by the internet giant told an undercover reporter they were expected to deliver up to 200 parcels a day. Some admitted breaking speed limits to stay on schedule, while others said time was not allowed for toilet breaks.

Amazon said it was committed to ensuring drivers drive safely and legally, and are “fairly compensated”.

The retailer could face questions in parliament over the working conditions at the company.

Full article here.

Deliveroo Couriers Look For Employment Rights Following Uber Victory

A group of Deliveroo couriers are set to take legal action if the high profile food delivery company reject their request for union recognition and employment rights.

The latest move comes after private hire firm Uber lost a legal battle in which two drivers successfully argued that they were employees rather than self-employed operators. The Tribunal ruled that Uber drivers were entitled to holiday pay, rest breaks and the National Living Wage.

Full article here.

Gender pay gap means women ‘working for free from now until 2017’

Women will in effect work for free for the rest of the year because of the gender pay gap, which will take 60 years to close at the current rate of progress, campaigners say.

The Fawcett Society called for more action from the government and employers to tackle pay discrimination, job “segregation” and help women into senior posts.

Full article here.

 

World News

President-Elect Trump

An Unrepresented special on President-Elect Trump will be published soon.

German coalition agrees to cut carbon emissions up to 95% by 2050

Germany’s coalition government has reached an agreement on a climate change action plan which involves reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 to 95% by 2050, a spokesperson said on Friday.

The plan, which will require German industry to reduce its CO2 emission by a fifth by 2030, and Germany’s energy sector to reduce emissions by almost a half, will be reviewed in 2018 with a view to its impact on jobs and society.

Full article here.

Brazil politicians linked to Petrobras scandal draft bills for ‘self-preservation’

Politicians suspected of profiting from Brazil’s biggest-ever corruption scandal are drafting legislation aimed at letting themselves off the hook, according to the the country’s chief prosecutor.

Brazil’s probe into graft at the state-run oil company Petrobras, which began more than two years ago, has led to charges against nearly 250 people and has already seen the arrest, trial and conviction of some of the country’s most powerful businessmen and political operators.

But bills have been introduced in congress in recent weeks directly aimed at protecting politicians and implicated businessmen from prosecution, while also curtailing the powers of law enforcement agencies to investigate lawmakers.

Full article here.

Rupee note cancellation plunges India into panic

Queues of angry, panicked Indians wound around bank buildings in Mumbai, the financial capital, on Thursday morning, two days after the prime minister, Narendra Modi, announced that 500- and 1,000-rupee notes, worth around £6 and £12, would be taken out of circulation.

Shops, train stations, and taxis stopped accepting 500- and 1,000-rupee notes on Wednesday, interrupting normal trade. Even hospitals, which are exempt from the immediate demonetisation, have reportedly turned down payments in high-value banknotes.

Some complained that Modi’s surprise announcement had completely disrupted normal life. “Nobody is willing to give you change,” said Solanki. “They should have planned this properly instead of springing it upon us.”

Full article here.

 

 

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