The Divorce Gap – women see incomes fall by 33% following divorce, compared to just 18% for men – Legal & General research

Women are likely to see their household incomes fall by a third in the year following their divorce, almost twice as much as men (33% women vs. 18%), according to research from Legal & General Retail Retirement.

  • Women see their annual income fall by almost twice as much as men following divorce
  • Women are significantly more likely to waive rights to a partner’s pension as part of a divorce (28% women vs 19%)
  • Women are more likely to face financial struggle post-divorce (31% women vs 21%) and worry about the impact on their retirement (16% women vs 10%)
  • Office for National Statistics data shows, on average, women already have a significantly smaller pension pot than men

There are many reasons driving this disparity, one being that women are typically paid less, whilst men who divorce are far more likely to have been the primary breadwinner in the relationship (74% men vs. 18%). This is why women will likely feel a greater degree of financial burden if transitioning to a single-income household.

Women are more likely to face financial struggles following a divorce from their partner (31% women vs. 21%) and this is particularly true for older women who divorce. One in four divorces occur after the age of 50 and women are significantly more likely to worry about the impact of their divorce on their retirement (16% women vs 10%).

While there is only a slight difference in the number of men and women who feel that the division of their finances at the point of divorce was fair and equitable (54% men and 49% women), the research has found that many women may be signing over their rights to a key financial asset. Women are significantly more likely to waive their rights to a partner’s pension as part of their divorce (28% women vs 19%). This could have a significant long-term impact, particularly as women tend to have less personal pension wealth, according to the most recent findings from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). ONS data shows that men currently below the State Pension age have higher (£25,300) median active pension wealth than women (£20,000). Meanwhile, for those aged 65 years and over, median pension wealth for pensions in payment for men is double that for women (£223,933 for men vs. £112,967).

Part of a longer press release at https://www.legalandgeneralgroup.com/media-centre/press-releases/the-divorce-gap-women-see-incomes-fall-by-33-following-divorce-compared-to-just-18-for-men/

January 12, 2021

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Furlough extension: The government has extended the furlough scheme until 30 April 2021 – Working Families

You may now be furloughed even if you have not been furloughed under the previous scheme, if you are eligible. There is no limit on the number of employees that can be furloughed.

Your employer can claim 80% of your salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

To be eligible for furlough, you must have been employed and on the PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020 (as long as they made a PAYE RTI submission to HMRC between 20 March and 30 October 2020).

You can be re-employed and put on the furlough scheme if your employer agrees, provided you were on the payroll on September 23 2020 if you have since been made redundant or stopped working for your employer. See our COVID- redundancy pages for more information.

This article covers FAQs about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough). If you are currently on furlough but have been asked to go back to work, see our Return to work and health and safety page.

This is only relevant for employees and workers. If you are self-employed, have a look at WF page on financial support instead.

For full details and other information go to https://workingfamilies.org.uk/articles/coronavirus-furlough/

January 12, 2021

Only 12% of sexual offence victims feel police investigations are fair and proportionate a new study has revealed

Only one in five victims of sexual offences in England and Wales were satisfied with their criminal justice experience, a new Loughborough-led study has revealed.

Dr Olivia Smith, a Criminology and Social Policy expert in Loughborough University’s School of Social Sciences and Humanities, hopes her research findings will raise awareness and lead to positive changes across the UK, specifically the introduction of a national system of legal advocacy for sexual offence victims.

The report, titled ‘Evaluation of the Sexual Violence Complainants’ Advocate Scheme’, contains the findings of an online survey undertaken by 586 victims of sexual offences in England and Wales (233 reported to the police and 353 did not).

The victim survey data revealed that the current situation is untenable. Most victims that reported offences said they were treated sensitively by the police at the point of reporting, but the rest of the process was insensitive and unfair.

The survey found:

  • Only 12% of victims feel that police investigations are fair and proportionate
  • 77% feel that victims are regularly cross-examined on their medical and sexual history (only 5% disagreed with this statement)
  • Only 1 in 5 (21%) felt the criminal justice system treats victims with dignity
  • Only 1 in 5 (21%) were satisfied with their criminal justice experience
  • The survey reveals that only 12% of victims feel that police investigations are fair and proportionate.

Victims who did not report told Dr Smith and the research team, which comprised of Ellen Daly, a PhD student at Loughborough University, and Cath Easton, an independent researcher, about their fear of intrusive and victim-blaming evidence and those that did report confirmed in some instances this was the case.

Victims also revealed the impact of the criminal justice system on their mental health and many victims stated they would not report again.

In addition, the survey found that getting a conviction did not necessarily mean victims were satisfied with the process. One victim stated: “The outcome was not worth what I put myself through”.

The report was commissioned by Kim McGuinness and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria, which developed the Sexual Violence Complainants’ Advocate [SVCA] scheme.

As part of the research, Dr Smith examined the pilot scheme, which ran from 2018 until March this year, and found it improved victims’ experiences of the criminal justice system by offering free and independent legal advocacy.

Currently, victims in England and Wales have no right to legal support and occasionally rely on charities if they need help understanding the complicated rules around their rights.

Dr Smith is now campaigning for an amendment to the Government’s Victims of Crime Bill, which will have a second reading in Spring 2021, to add in legal advocacy for serious sexual offence victims.

The change will allow victims to have free access to a lawyer who can advise and represent them at important points in the criminal justice process.

  • The full report can be found here. It will be shared with the Criminal Justice Board and key MPs and Peers.
  • For more information on the research and campaign visit needisclear.org. The website also features resources for members of the public wishing to take action and support the call for legal advocacy.

Part of a longer press release at https://www.lboro.ac.uk/news-events/news/2020/december/legal-advocacy-for-sexual-offence-victims-study/

Petition: Introduce free & independent legal support for victims of sexual violence https://www.change.org/p/robert-buckland-introduce-free-independent-legal-support-for-victims-of-sexual-violence

 

January 7, 2021

Gender Pay Gap Increases with Age and is at its Widest for the Over 50s – Rest Less

The gender pay gap between men and women working full time is at its widest for those over 50, according to new analysis from Rest Less, the digital community for the over 50s.

According to Rest Less’s analysis of pay data from the Office of National Statistics, the median annual salary of women working full time in their 50s was 23% less than the median full time salary of men in the same age group, with women in their 60s earning 25 per cent less.

The median annual salary of a female Full Time Employee (FTE) in 2020 was £27,981 compared with £33,923 for men – a difference of £5,942 and representing 18 per cent less.

According to Rest Less’s analysis, both women and men reach their peak earnings during their 40s when their median annual incomes were £31,403 and £38,829 respectively – equating to a gap of £7,426 and women taking home an annual salary which was nearly one fifth (19%) less than men.

Women’s median full time salaries dropped on average by nine per cent from their peak earnings in their 40s to their 50s and the median earnings for women working full time in their 60s was 24 per cent lower than the median earnings for women in their 40s. By contrast the median salary of men in their 50s, was five per cent lower than those of men in their 40s and for men working full time in their 60s, their median salary was 19 per cent lower than those in their 40s.

Part of a longer press release at https://restless.co.uk/press/gender-pay-gap-increases-with-age-and-is-at-its-widest-for-the-over-50s/

 

January 7, 2021

New research raises concerns about experiences of parents and families in newly ‘virtual’ child protection conferences – Nuffield Family Justice Observatory

COVID-19 has forced an abrupt change in practice for child protection conferences, with a new survey suggesting that the majority of formerly face-to-face meetings are now being held remotely by video or phone – and now that the shift has been made, professionals feel that in-person conferences are unlikely to resume even beyond the pandemic.

The conferences are a crucial first stage of the child protection system in England and Wales, where professionals come together to identify and address serious concerns about a child who they believe is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm through abuse or neglect. Video, phone, or ‘hybrid’ conferences have now become commonplace, and there were even some reports of conferences being replaced with a series of bilateral telephone conversations without the opportunity for families and professionals to discuss concerns together at all.

The new survey and follow-up interviews with more than 500 professionals and parents published by Nuffield Family Justice Observatory and carried out by King’s College London, shows a disconnect between the experiences of professionals (social workers, police, teachers, GPs and other health professionals) involved and those of parents and families. While nearly half of professionals thought remote child protection conferences were better, all the parents interviewed said they would have preferred a face-to-face meeting if one had been possible.

Professionals also raised concerns on behalf of parents and families. At the most extreme, respondents felt that in some circumstances the new ways of working may be unsafe. Where domestic abuse was an issue there were concerns that someone could be in the room who could become a danger to a parent as a result of what he or she heard. There were also worries that children in the home while conferences were taking place could be exposed to information that they should not hear.

Most of the parents who took part in the study said they had joined by phone even when professionals joined by video. Three quarters of parents thought that the way the conference had been conducted had adversely affected their ability to contribute. While just over half felt that they had been able to express their views and comment on what was being said even if it was difficult to do so, the rest believed they had been denied that opportunity or were not able to comment.

Professionals worried about parents not always being able to understand what was happening and not being prepared or supported to engage fully – particular issues were identified for parents with learning difficulties and language or communication needs. They also recognised problems with technology, confidentiality and safety, as well as a loss of a sense of seriousness, with what is a gravely important meeting.

However, despite these worries, nearly half of professionals thought that a virtual model for conferences was better than being in the same room. One of the significant advantages identified was increased attendance by a range of professionals – a historic challenge for certain professions who cannot easily travel and take time away from day-to-day work. Almost half of the professionals interviewed said they had noticed a change in attendance especially amongst GPs, paediatricians, child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) workers, and psychiatrists working in adult mental health services.

Some professionals also reported better engagement with children, particularly older children, in remote conferences, and also that remote conferences could be less intimidating for parents.

Part of a longer press release at https://www.nuffieldfjo.org.uk/news/concerns-experiences-parents-families-newly-virtual-child-protection-conferences

First report here http://www.womensgrid.org.uk/?p=13498

January 7, 2021