Ed Miliband: Labour will increase minimum wage by linking it to earnings

The leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband, has pledged to substantially raise the national minimum wage by linking it to average hourly earnings, in an effort to deal with the “scandal” that Britain is one of the worst places in the developed world for low paid workers.

Over the course of the next Parliament, Mr Miliband, has vowed to follow Barack Obama’s footsteps by ensuring that increasing the minimum wage is a “basic principle” for his party in government.

Minister highlights Wales’ support to help disabled to get into work

The Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, Jeff Cuthbert, has said that helping disabled people into work is a key priority of the Welsh Government. He also outlined a number of schemes, which are helping support disabled people to maintain or gain new employment, at a UK Government Disability Confident Employers Event in Cardiff.

80 per cent of people who are deaf cite employers as a major barrier to work

Three out of four people with hearing loss feel their employment opportunities are more limited than their hearing peers, with almost 80 per cent naming employers as the major barrier according to new research by Action on Hearing Loss, to mark Deaf Awareness Week.

Their findings, which highlight the difficulties people who are deaf face at work, show that hearing loss prevented 70 per cent of people surveyed from fulfilling their potential at work and, of those that retired early; two-fifths said hearing loss contributed to their decision to retire.

Staffline has agreed to takeover Avanta Enterprise in a £65.5m deal

Staffline, a rapidly growing recruitment company with headquarters in Nottingham, has agreed to takeover Avanta Enterprise in a deal worth £65.5 million. It is also aiming to raise £16m through the placing of two million shares at £8 each.

Avanta provides welfare-to-work and skills training services across the UK. It currently employs about 600 staff operating through 43 sites with revenue of £70m.

More analysis of the cumulative impact of welfare reform needed says new report

The UK's main advisory body on social security matters has recommended that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) should carry out more analysis in order to properly assess the cumulative impact of welfare reform, but has accepted that this would be a difficult task.

OECD calls for tax overhaul to tackle income inequality

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has called for an overhaul of the tax system in developed economies to ensure that the very rich pay a large share of their incomes, and help limit or roll back the sharp increase in income inequality that has occurred over recent decades.

Holyrood given power to end 'bedroom tax' in Scotland

The UK government has moved to neutralise the impact of the bedroom tax on the Scottish independence referendum by giving the Scottish government powers to mitigate the measure.

Stop treating ethnic minority communities as one voting bloc, argues new Policy Exchange report

A major new study by the think tank Policy Exchange has outlined the clear and meaningful differences between ethnic communities, and revealed that people from ethnic minority backgrounds will make up nearly a third of the UK’s population by 2050.

Benefits risk to jobseekers refusing zero-hours contracts

A study by the independent think-tank, Resolution Foundation, has found that the typical self-employed worker earns 40 per cent less than the typical employee, and that weekly earnings for the self-employed have seen a 20 per cent fall since 2007. In contrast, the average employee has seen a six per cent fall in their weekly earnings.

Dramatic fall in earnings of self-employed, as their numbers rise

A study by the independent think-tank, Resolution Foundation, has found that the typical self-employed worker earns 40 per cent less than the typical employee, and that weekly earnings for the self-employed have seen a 20 per cent fall since 2007. In contrast, the average employee has seen a six per cent fall in their weekly earnings.

Northern Ireland homeless charity's benefits warning

The charity Crisis has warned that homelessness in Northern Ireland could rise because of the pressures on social housing and benefit changes, and it has urged the Northern Ireland Executive to take action to protect the vulnerable.

A study by the charity for single homeless people and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that one in 18 adults had experienced homelessness in Northern Ireland, which equates to six per cent of the adult population. This figure includes those living on the streets and people who have no option but to stay with relatives or friends.

Over 2000 new jobs and apprenticeships from leading STEM organisations

The Chancellor, George Osborne, has announced a new campaign to boost participation in science, technology, engineering and maths (the ‘STEM’ subjects) at school and beyond, with over 170 leading businesses and institutions offering over 2,000 jobs and apprenticeships.

The campaign – called “Your Life”, will have targeted advertising and will include a scheme to boost the number of high-skilled science teachers alongside the pledges from businesses.

Homeless women being failed across the country

The charity, St Mungo’s Broadway has told the Ministerial Working Group on Homelessness that homeless women are being failed at both the local and national levels across the UK.

They were presenting findings from their recent Rebuilding Shattered Lives report, which brought together more than 200 contributions from charities, academics and homeless women themselves, and set out the issues, good practice and ten recommendations.

Inclusion partner with Numbers4Good to support organisations interested in bidding for SIBs intended to help young people

The Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion have partnered with Numbers4Good to support organisations interested in bidding for the £30m Social Impact Bond fund for vulnerable young people. 

The funding will help 14 to 24-year-olds to develop crucial skills to improve their educational achievement and employability, and therefore will prevent them from falling into a situation where they are not in education, employment or training (NEET).

Claimant Commitment now rolled out across the country

The latest figures show that the Claimant Commitment, whereby all new jobseekers and those completing the Work Programme must agree and sign a commitment in order to receive benefits, has been successfully rolled out across the country.