Father’s paternity pay rights tested at tribunal

A case that could determine whether firms have to pay fathers on maternity leave the same as women is being heard by the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

The support services firm Capita is appealing against a ruling in June that it failed to give a new father full paternity leave rights.

Madasar Ali, whose wife had post-natal depression, was offered two weeks’ pay, whereas a woman is paid for 14 weeks.

A tribunal ruled Mr Ali, a call centre worker, had been discriminated against.

The BBC’s legal correspondent Clive Coleman says the outcome of the appeal will be binding for similar cases in the future.  More

Autism at Christmas: ‘My son likes to lock himself in his room’

For many children Christmas is the most exciting time of the year, but for those with autism – and for the families who look after them – it can be an extraordinarily challenging period.

Some of the simplest joys associated with Christmas, such as opening presents or eating turkey, can become potential flashpoints as children who place huge importance on their routines find it hard to handle the change to their environment.

So how do families with autistic children make it through the festive season with happiness and harmony?

For Kevin Harrison, it is a time of year to be handled cautiously as his 11-year-old son Daniel struggles with the challenges of Christmas.  More

BBC to air more religious programming

The BBC has pledged to “raise our game” on religion by increasing the portrayal of all faiths in mainstream shows.

The corporation said it would “enhance” the representation of religion on TV and radio dramas and documentaries.

It said it would also create a new global religious affairs team, headed by a religion editor, in BBC News.

The BBC will also keep Thought For The Day on Radio 4’s Today programme – despite presenter John Humphrys saying it’s often “deeply, deeply boring”.  More

Why did female nominees miss out again at 2017 Spoty awards?

The most visible shock during BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year show was the 50-1 outsider Mo Farah winning the main award, the four-times Olympic champion having long given up hope of reaching the podium again. But the odds are seemingly even more stacked against female nominees, with debate about the reasons why raging.

The four women on the 12-strong shortlist occupied the bottom four places, accounting for just 8% of the public vote. A leading women’s sport charity and feminist political party expressed their surprise to the Guardian that Anya Shrubsole (15,237 votes) Bianca Walkden (13,962) Johanna Konta (7,591) and Elise Christie (6,504) between them raked in fewer than half the number of votes Farah (83,524) received.  More

Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month – November 2017

World Diabetes Day is on 14 November and with that in mind we have chosen James Norton as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.

James is an actor best known for his roles in the TV series’ Happy Valley, Grantchester and War and Peace. He was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2010 at the start of his acting career. He finds managing his diabetes challenging but he has not let it get in his way and refuses to let the condition hold him back from success.

James is a supporter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and their #T1DLooksLikeMe campaign which aims to help educate others about Type 1 diabetes.

To find out more about James see here http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3584268/ .

To find out more about the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and World Diabetes Day see the links below.



Turner Prize 2017: Lubaina Himid’s win makes history

Lubaina Himid has become the oldest winner of the Turner Prize, and the first black woman to pick up the art award.

The 63-year-old Zanzibar-born, Preston-based artist won the £25,000 prize for work addressing racial politics and the legacy of slavery.

The judges praised her “uncompromising tackling of issues including colonial history and how racism persists today”.

She was named the winner at a ceremony in Hull, currently UK City of Culture.  More

Raelene Castle: Rugby Australia appoints first woman chief

Australia’s rugby union governing body has chosen Raelene Castle as its new chief executive, the first time a woman has been given the job.

Rugby Australia said Ms Castle was “extremely impressive” with an “outstanding track record”.

The appointment of the experienced sports administrator makes her the first female leader across all major national bodies in world rugby.

She reportedly beat more than 200 candidates for the job.  More

Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month – December 2017

On 3 December it is International Day of Disabled Persons and with that in mind we have chosen Jonnie Peacock as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.

At the age of 5, Jonnie contracted meningitis, resulting in the amputation of his right leg, just below the knee.  He had always been a very positive young boy and despite initial difficulties soon got used to his new leg.

Jonnie had always loved sport particularly football but that was not an option with his prosthetic but at the age of 15 whilst waiting for an appointment at his prosthetic centre he saw a poster inviting anyone interested in sport to attend a talent identification day.  Jonnie was allowed to go and tried his hand at a number of different sports, however it was athletics that suited him best and his attendance at the event started his journey to becoming an international athlete.

He ran his first international race at the Paralympic World Cup in Manchester in May 2012 and at the 2012 Paralympics, just four years after seeing the poster, Jonnie won the 100m T44 final with a time of 10.90 seconds, claiming the gold and the Paralympic record in the process. In 2016 at the Rio Paralympics Jonnie defended his title and in 2017 he won the World Championships in London.

In September this year Jonnie joined Strictly Come Dancing becoming the first disabled person to compete on the show with the idea that he could show everyone what an amputee could do rather than not do. Jonnie was partnered with Oti Mabuse and despite not having danced before made it all the way to week 9.  Despite his disappointment Jonnie was honoured to be the first disabled person on the show and thanked the panel for judging him as an equal.

Jonnie was awarded an MBE in 2013 for services to athletics.