This month our Training and Development Manager wrote a blog around mental health in the workplace following on from ASDA and Tesco’s ill-advised decision to offer “mental health” patient fancy dress costumes.

Mental health is a subject few feel able to talk about due to the stigma attached and, as Matt quite rightly pointed out, in a high stress environment like construction where CIOB research found 62% of Site Managers alone consider themselves stressed we cannot afford to overlook these implications.

As organisations we need to work closer with charities like Mind, Rethink and Time to Change to find out how we can ensure that we are encouraging people to consider roles within the industry and think about what we are doing as organisations to support additional needs.  But, and possibly more importantly, we need their help in ensuring that we are not creating stressful situations that might inflame a pre-existing condition or even cause a mental health condition to develop in the first place.

Happy Building, Chrissi

Last weeks winner was Paul Handford, Assistant Company Solicitor at Black & Veatch Ltd.

For your chance to win £20 in John Lewis vouchers, visit the Constructing Equality Ltd website and enter this month's quiz, all of the answers are in this newsletter.

This month we have been reading tweets from WiBSE, the support network that will enable more women to join, stay and progress within Building Services engineering. @CIBSEWomen

Remember, you can follow us on Twitter @ConstructingEq

NEWS *Publication of Public Sector Equality Duty Review and Government response

*Publication of Public Sector Equality Duty Review and Government response

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On 6 September 2013, the Independent Steering Group’s report of the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) review and Government response were published.

The review was announced in May 2012. It arose from the government’s Red Tape Challenge and was established to examine whether the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) is operating as intended. A key aim of the PSED was to sensitise public bodies to equality while addressing the bureaucracy associated with the previous duties on race, disability and gender.

On 6 September, the Government also launched a consultation: ‘Judicial Review: Proposals For Further Reform’. The consultation includes exploring the potential for reform in relation to ‘the use of [the Judicial Review] to resolve disputes relating to the public sector equality duty and whether there are suitable alternatives’. The consultation closes at midnight on 1 November

Details of Equality and Diversity Forum and other responses to the PSED review

TUC response (6 September)

Touchstone blog by Ben Moxham, Policy Officer at the TUC (11 September)

Equality and Human Rights Commission response (6 September)

Guardian article by Tessa Wright and Hazel Conley (16 September)

* Government to inject more fairness into the workforce

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Business Secretary Vince Cable announced a package of measures to inject more fairness into the workforce and in wages for British workers.

On zero-hours contracts he said:

“It is clear that they are much more widely used than we had previously thought. It is also clear that there are abuses in the system, especially around the issue of exclusivity which some employers are demanding from workers on these contracts.

I am announcing that we will proceed to issue a consultation, which will explore how to tackle any abuses, particularly around exclusivity. I am determined to make sure people are paid and treated fairly, in a way that also helps keep people employed in these delicate economic times.”

On the National Minimum Wage, he said:

“The National Minimum Wage is a vital safety net in protecting the low paid. However, as signs of an economic recovery start to emerge, we need to do more to make sure that the benefits of growth are shared fairly across the board.

The Low Pay Commission every year carries out a huge amount of valuable, detailed work looking at labour conditions across the economy. Today, in addition to their on-going annual remit, I am asking them to extend this expertise to help the government and business understand how we can deal with the issue of low wages in the economy. In particular, I have asked them to look at what economic conditions would be needed to allow the National Minimum Wage to rise by more than current conditions allow.”

The full report can be found here

*Campaign Launch: End Racism This Generation

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On 24 September 2013 Runnymede launched the End Racism This Generation Campaign. In 2013 racism still exists in the UK. Your ethnic background significantly impacts your life chances, from work, health and education to policing and justice. This nation-wide campaign calls on individuals, businesses and organisations to take specific actions within our own lives, workplaces and communities, to tackle the racial inequality that still exists in the UK.

Whoever you are, whatever sector you are in, your pledge will boost the campaign and inspire others into action. Small or big, every pledge helps. Even pledging to spread the word about racism will support us in achieving our goal.

Make your pledge on the End Racism This Generation website - a platform where people who want change can gather to learn, and create new networks for positive action. Your pledges will be mapped by area, which will allow individuals, organisations and businesses to see what is going on around them and pledge their support. Runnymede will also be hosting events all around England and Wales to bring people together and spread the message: including pop-up think-tanks; debates; online seminars; and youth events.

No one person or organisation can achieve this by themselves but together we can end it. Join the movement to end racism today.

For more information, visit their website

Follow them @EndRacismUK or facebook

*Reports on ‘Public Authorities' performance against the Scottish Specific Equality Duties’

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The first stage of this programme was completed in June 2013.  The Commission assessed whether Scottish-listed bodies had met the requirements to publish information in support of the following duties:

• Duty to report progress on mainstreaming the equality duty
• Duty to publish equality outcomes and report progress
• Duty to gather and use employee information
• Duty to publish gender pay gap information
• Duty to publish statements on equal pay

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in Scotland is carrying out a programme of work in 2013/14 to monitor the compliance of listed public authorities with the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2012.
Report 2: Monitoring public authorities performance of the employment duties’ was published in September 2013.

The findings of this monitoring work will enable the Commission to fulfil its unique regulatory role to monitor the Public Sector Equality Duty.

It will also enable the Commission to identify and promote good practice and make recommendations to the Scottish Government on actions to meet the Scottish Ministers Duty to “publish proposals for activity to enable a listed authority to better perform its equality duty” in December 2013.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has also produced guidance to support listed public authorities in meeting the requirements of the Scottish Specific Duty of considering award criteria and conditions in relation to public procurement.

The guidance sets out what the duty requires and is written with reference to the Scottish Governments Procurement Journey


*CITB Be Fair Accreditation Framework Update

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Things are speeding up with the CITB Be Fair Accreditation Framework pilot companies. September saw the beginning of the assessment process, with companies uploading their documents onto the GOLD system to be reviewed. The documents cover a selection of criteria, from having certain policies and contractual clauses in place, to correspondence with local schools and company clients.

So far nine uploads completion dates have taken place (Complete Access Scaffolding, Cull Dry Lining, DCT Civil Engineering,Southport Gate, Highwire, Graham, MTM Construction, Interceil and Holloway Cook Associates).

October will see the first wave of companies being visited by Constructing Equality Ltd Assessors. The assessors interview the employees of each company to see how well the Be Fair values have been embedded, and ascertain staff attitudes to Fairness, Inclusion and Respect. They also spend some time looking at the facilities provided by the company, and whether the Be Fair values have been passed down their supply chain.

The first company to be fully assessed will be Holloway Cook Associates, closely followed (the next day in fact!) by Cull Dry Lining. Both are aiming for their Bronze Accreditation (formerly known as Level 2) which demonstrates their compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duties and could give them both an excellent competitive advantage. Compliance with these duties is essential to win most public sector contracts.

We’d like to wish good luck to these trail-blazers, and any other companies being assessed throughout October.

Companies wishing to sign up for Be Fair in 2014, once it is out of pilot, should do so at the CITB website. Constructing Equality Ltd can be selected as your supplier, but we advise getting booked in as soon as possible as our time is quickly filling up.

*Even more Considerate Constructors

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The Scheme is pleased to report that registration numbers for 2013 are currently outperforming 2012 as the industry remains committed, now more than ever, to improving the image of construction.

The Scheme is currently experiencing an 8% increase in Site Registrations when compared to what was achieved in 2012, and a superb 15% rise in Company Registrations. Notable months include July which received the highest number of Site Registrations that month has ever received since the Scheme began and August narrowly missing out on the same feat.

These numbers represent a great achievement not only for the Scheme, but for the industry as a whole.

As construction activity across the UK increases, it is essential for the industry to remain committed to improving the image of construction, and through registration with the Scheme, the industry is demonstrating to the public that this is a new era, one of professionalism and consideration.

The Government have released a report titled Construction 2025 which predicts the global construction market will grow by over 70% by 2025. In order for Britain to remain at the forefront of construction, the report identifies the need to improve the image of the industry in order to attract new talent, and this is where the Scheme, and those who register, are leading the way.

The industry's support for the Scheme and the aim of improving the image of construction has been unwavering since it began in 1997. The Scheme would to take this opportunity to thank the industry for its help and support, and look forward to a brighter, more considerate future.

From a press release by Considerate Constructors.

*Shadow Equality Impact Assessment of proposed residence test for civil legal aid

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The NRPF (No Recourse to Public Funds) Network has worked with both statutory and voluntary sector organisations to respond to proposals for additional cuts to legal aid. They are concerned about the impact these proposals would have on local authorities and vulnerable clients supported by local authorities.

Working with Islington Law Centre, JustRights, Refugee Action, Rights of Women and Youth Access, the NRPF Network has produced a Shadow Equality Impact Assessment and a Shadow Financial Impact Assessment looking at the Ministry of Justice's proposed residence test for civil legal aid.

They suggest that the proposal would have a devastating impact on equality and fundamental rights and is very unlikely to be lawful, because it cannot be justified. They are also extremely concerned that the proposed residence test seems likely to cause a cost shift of around £26m a year to local authorities, whilst the Ministry of Justice has not been able to estimate any financial savings.

*Constructing Equality Ltd News

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September has been a very busy month for us at Constructing Equality Ltd.

Chrissi has been out and about presenting her paper at the Arcom Conference (Mainstreaming Equality, an Organisational Justice perspective), as well as delivering training and meeting up with Chief Construction Advisor Peter Hansford .

Caroline has been busy with the Be Fair uploads. Many of the companies piloting the framework are now well into the assessment process.

Matt has been getting stuck in to developing our online ‘Equality and Diversity in the Construction Industry’ training, which should be up and running in the New Year. For further information on our online training email Matt He also wrote his first company blog on Mental Health, which has attracted a lot of interest.

Paul and Patrick, have both finished their apprenticeships, and are continuing their education as they work here. Paul has started a degree in IT, and Patrick has begun his HNC in business and finance.

We have also gained not one, but two new full time colleagues and 13 assessors! Sanjay has joined us to head up Business Development, and it already feels like has always been here. Sanjay previously worked with TeleAtlas India (P) Ltd. and then with DLF Ltd. At TeleAtlas, he was responsible for strategic planning, business development, and operations of all TeleAtlas projects across North America, Europe, and the Rest of the World. Whilst at DLF Ltd. (India's largest real estate company) Sanjay was a founding member of the business development / corporate strategy team tasked with globalising the DLF brand.

Just last week we also gained Peter, our new apprentice, who has been thrown straight in at the deep end to act as Chrissi’s PA.

We will be announcing our new assessors more formally on the website once they have all had the chance to undertake thier first assignments

We’d like to give a warm welcome to our new additions, and preparations are underway for the core staff arrival dinner and a team bonding day.

EVENTS *WIBSE Northern Workshop Event: Leadership Development for Women in Construction

*WIBSE Northern Workshop Event: Leadership Development for Women in Construction

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WiBSE are pleased to announce the Leadership Development For Women In Construction Workshops to complement their nationwide launch events this year. These events are open to attendance from all Construction and Property Sector Professionals.

The Leadership Development for Women in Construction Workshop is an introductory session led by Chrissi McCarthy (Managing Director, Constructing Equality Ltd.).  Thw Workshop will lead into specific training during 2014 / 2015 aimed at supporting Women who are looking to move up the career ladder and be more effective in their current roles. This is a combined event with WiBSE, WiP North West and Arup Connect Women.


  • Develop an understanding of internal and external barriers that are present in the workplace.
  • Provide tools to overcome these barriers.
  • Understanding the importance of “bringing yourself” to the workplace.
  • Be able to appreciate colleagues’ experiences of gender and have the right tools to positively influence this agenda.

Wednesday 2nd October From 18:00 to 21:00
12th Floor, The Plaza,100 Old Hall Street, Liverpool, L3 9QJ

Please confirm if you are able to attend via e-mail to:laura dunlop
or register 

This course is free of charge

*Bridging the Divide – integrating national equality and human rights bodies

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University College London (UCL), the Equality and Diversity Forum (EDF) and the EDF Research Network are pleased to invite you to a seminar to discuss the findings of a study on the integration of national equality and human rights bodies.

A number of European Union countries, including Ireland, France and the Netherlands, are in the process of integrating their national equality and human rights organisations – as the UK did in 2006 with the creation of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. But equality and human rights have developed along different paths, with different frameworks and communities of expertise.

As a first step in addressing these challenges, University College London with the support of the Nuffield Foundation, has conducted a study on the matters to be taken into account in relation to the integration of the functions of national equality bodies and national human rights institutions. A conference in March brought together international experts to feed into the study’s final report. Printed copies of the report will be launched at this seminar and will form the basis of discussion between researchers, policy officials and NGO stakeholders on how best to ensure that the integration process currently taking place does not undermine, but rather enhances, equality and human rights protection and promotion in the European Union.

Please click here to register; they will email confirmation and full details a fortnight before the event. Please note that registration will be on a first-come-first served basis.

* National Women in Engineering Day

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23 June 2014 sees the launch of National Women in Engineering Day - the first event of its kind, aimed at raising the profile and celebrating the achievements of women in engineering, and encouraging more girls to consider engineering as a career.

What You Can Do - below are some ideas of the type of things that can be done to celebrate this day.


If you are a company or organisation in the engineering sector: -

  • Organise a lecture or networking event
  • Organise an industrial visit
  • Open your doors to local school children and parents, with an emphasis on encouraging girls to attend
  • Launch a Women's Network
  • Arrange a social event for your women engineers
  • Carry out an equal pay audit in your organisation
  • Review your Diversity and Inclusion policies to ensure that you are are doing as much as possible to ensure Diversity
  • Put on an Unconscious Bias training session for your staff

If you are a Woman Engineer:

  • Add your name to our Register of Women Engineers
  • Contact your local school and invite yourself to meet their pupils
  • Encourage your Company or Organisation to carry out some of the activities above
  • Tweet about your job
  • Write a biography for our She's an Engineer feature
  • Become a STEM Ambassador


*National Inclusion Week – 7-11 October 2013

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National Inclusion Week is an annual week of workplace activities and events that highlight the importance of inclusion across the UK.

It is a unique opportunity to get connected to and engage with people who are passionate about inclusion in your workplace and beyond. Getting your workplace involved in National Inclusion Week will enable you to showcase how you make a difference at work by valuing difference. Every organisation is welcome to take part in National Inclusion Week - it is free to do. There are lots of ideas and resources on the National Inclusion Week website. You can also follow on twitter @NationalIncWeek

RESOURCES *Out Now: LGBT Equality at Work, Third Edition, 2013

*Out Now: LGBT Equality at Work, Third Edition, 2013

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The TUC has launched a new guide for union reps on how to combat homophobia in the workplace.

The guide, LGBT Equality at Work, provides legal tips for challenging harassment at work and practical advice on how unions can best represent their LGBT members.

LGBT Equality at Work offers guidance on a range of issues from challenging unacceptable behaviour and language to ensuring that LGBT workers who are posted to hostile countries are fully protected by their employers.

The guide is published just weeks after the British Social Attitudes Survey revealed that despite steady progress in the social acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, a significant minority of the British population remains prejudiced.

The position of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGB and T) people in Britain has been transformed beyond recognition in the course of a single generation. However, the problems that remain are substantial and trade unions, which have played a major part in winning the improvements gained in recent years, still have work to do.

LGBT Equality at Work (Third Edition) provides a context for LGBT equality issues today with sections covering: -

  • Using the right language
  • The Law and LGB and T people
  • Workplace issues and good practice
  • Trans workplace issues
  • Monitoring: why and how
  • Challenging prejudice, promoting equality
  • Resources: help and advice

View and download: LGBT Equality at Work, Third Edition, 2013

RESEARCH *Stonewall Report: ‘Gay in Britain’

*Stonewall Report: ‘Gay in Britain’

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Published in 2013 by Stonewall,Gay in Britain shows that many lesbian, gay and bisexual people continue to live in fear of prejudice, despite the significant progress in recent years in improving equality.

The lives of many gay people at work remain difficult despite major efforts from leading employers, and employment protections having been in place for ten years.

They often face bullying and feel unable to be open about their sexual orientation with colleagues and managers.

  • One in five (19 per cent) lesbian, gay and bisexual employees have experienced verbal bullying from colleagues, customers or service users because of their sexual orientation in the last five years.
  • One in eight (13 per cent) lesbian, gay and bisexual employees would not feel confident reporting homophobic bullying in their workplace.
  • A quarter (26 per cent) of lesbian, gay and bisexual workers are not at all open to colleagues about their sexual orientation.

*British Social Attitudes 30th Report

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The 30th British Social Attitudes report was published on 10 September 2013 by NatCen Social Research. The survey, which has been conducted annually since 1983, is based on interviews with a representative random sample of adults.

Some interesting findings include: -

  • In 1983 17% thought homosexuality was “not wrong at all”, falling to 11% by 1987 - a time of great concern about HIV AIDS. Now 47% think it's not wrong at all, while 22% think it is “always wrong” compared with 50% in 1983.
  • Only a small minority raise an eyebrow about sexual relationships outside marriage. Just 12 per cent say this is "always" or "mostly" wrong, and an all-time high of 65 per cent see nothing wrong at all in such behaviour. Even when a couple want to have children, less than half (42 per cent) now think they ought to get married first.
  • In 1984, 43 per cent agreed with the view that "a man's job is to earn money; a woman's job is to look after the home and family", but now only 13 per cent take this view.
  • Women living with a partner report spending an average of 13 hours on housework and 23 hours on caring for family members each week; the equivalent figures for men are 8 hours and 10 hours.
  • 1 in 10 believe that there should be no paid maternity or paternity leave.

The full report, with a selection of useful info graphics, is available online.

AWARDS Wanted: Rising Stars of the Construction Industry

*Wanted: Rising Stars of the Construction Industry

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The Construction Youth Trust has announced applications are now open for The Duke of Gloucester’s Young Achievers Scheme 2014.

Now in its third year, The Duke of Gloucester's Young Achievers Scheme is an opportunity for exceptional young professionals to be commended and celebrated for their achievements.

The judges, a prestigious panel of experts, will be particularly looking for young people who have not only achieved excellence in their careers so far, but may have had to overcome challenges to get there. They will also look for individuals who have gone the extra mile to promote construction as a career or helped others in the wider community.

Do you know anyone who could be this year’s winner? They need your help to spread the word - this could be a great opportunity to celebrate the rising stars within your company.

The Categories: -

  1. Construction Delivery - new category for 2014
  2. Design
  3. Engineering
  4. Project Management
  5. Surveying
  6. Overall winner (individual chosen from the winners of the other 5 categories)

Winners will be presented at an awards dinner in London in Spring 2014 and will receive a cash prize as well as a unique package of mentoring and development opportunities through the Trust to enable them to make an even greater impact in their future careers. There will be an additional cash prize for the overall winner.

Each of the categories is open to anyone under the age of 30 (on 30th January 2014) who is working in the construction industry.

For more details and to apply online, please visit

GOOD PRACTICE *Liverpool Housing Trust

*Liverpool Housing Trust

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Liverpool Housing Trust has engaged in a project of supply chain and process development with its’ heating installation and maintenance partners over the last 3 years. The project goes beyond traditional partnering approaches of open-book accounting and relationship management. In fact it takes advantage of many of the softer issues that partnering supports to make both supply chain and internal partner processes transparent.

The exercise has involved business process analysis of their SME partners in an effort to identify efficiency and business process savings. The key focus of the exercise was to allow a third party consultant to undertake an analysis of the businesses and identify where savings and improvements could be made. In addition, LHT looked at its’ joint processes with the supply chain and looked at improving quality through better processes and training and support for its’ supply chain.

Key demonstrator practices are: -

  • Support and consultancy to enable focused development of the supply chain
  • Generating real cost and quality savings for the client and supply chain
  • Improved shared processes to deliver better quality and improved installation and lifecycle costs
  • Training and support for the supply chain around key quality issues

LHT looked to take partnering to the next level. To drive genuine improvements in efficiency they realised that they had to improve and support the companies they worked with. By helping companies understand their own businesses better, they drove efficiency through the supply chain. Looking to work closely with the supply chain in this way enabled them to join up process issues that were delivering quality to their end users and creating real benefits in terms of cost and quality.

* Not just a pipe dream

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Ian Owens joined Morgan Sindall’s Northern Gas Networks (NGN) team as an apprentice from the local area.

Showing promise and skill, Ian completed advanced training and took on the role of Training Advisor. He was the ideal candidate as the role was very hands-on and suited his unique skill-set of technical experience and safety knowledge.

Ian’s approach when working closely with more experienced colleagues and sub-contracted organisations enabled him to build an extensive set of mentoring reports (Operational Assessment Portfolios). Regular reporting, however, flagged up some concerns with Steve Ryan, Contract Manager, and Chris Rolls, HSE Manager. It emerged that Ian suffered from dyslexia and had been using Word language tools to help him write reports, but these had resulted in the wrong use of synonyms, making the reports read incorrectly.

Ian’s manager was committed to finding a solution and undertook research into what support was available. It was discovered that Ian’s computer had Integrated Voice Recognition software. With guidance and support, Ian mastered this software in less than a month.

Overcoming the barrier of dyslexia has meant that Ian has produced a system and mechanism that has transformed the safety record on NGN. Morgan Sindall is able to prove quality of workmanship and competency, and address any issues quickly and effectively.

The system has been praised by the customer and received a Best Practice Award in recognition of this.


*Industry Profile - Sajedah Maka MCIOB

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For many people, the school holidays are a chance to slow down and take a bit of a breather. But for Sajedah Maka MCIOB it’s quite the opposite. Over the summer she’s been juggling around 35 small projects up to £25,000 in value for almost as many different clients.

Maka is a District Surveyor for Lancashire County Council in charge of the Central Preston and South Ribble area, a job that involves advising on and supervising works across 60 different public buildings in her patch. The summer holidays are the busiest time as schools race to complete works before the start of term.

“It’s a really interesting role – very diverse. I don’t know what I’m going to be involved in from one day to the next,” says the outgoing 34-year-old Lancastrian. “At the moment a great deal of effort is going into remodelling schools to create extra classroom space to cope with the increased numbers of pupils.”

Maka joined the county council as trainee Building Surveyor after graduating from the University of Central Lancashire with a Building Surveying degree. In 2007, she left for a brief spell as a Maintenance Surveyor for the UCL, before rejoining the council in the property department, becoming chartered and then being appointed as a District Surveyor.

Maka says she loves the work, but has at times found it difficult being a woman in a male-dominated industry, particularly earlier in her career, though she did get a lot of support from colleagues. “I’m one of the few women in the department, and I find it can get quite lonely having no female companions. The job’s quite isolated, as I’m on the road quite a bit.

Above all, though, Maka is keen to highlight what a rewarding career she’s pursuing. “The impact a Building Surveyor has is huge, but too few people have any idea what a Building Surveyor does. We need to promote it harder.”

Read the full interview in Construction Manager



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For your chance to win a £20 John Lewis voucher just answer three questions about the newsletter through the Constructing Equality Ltd Website

Last month's winner was Paul Handford

1) Which of the following is a new category for The Duke of Gloucester’s Young Achiever’s Award?
A) Project management
B) Engineering
C) Construction Delivery

2) What does PSED stand for?
A) Policy Special Education Delivery
B) Public Sector Equality Duties
C) Political Society Encouragement of Diversity

3)  Which organisation is currently running a campaign to end racism this generation?
A) Runnymede Trust
B) Fawcett Society
C) Stonewall