Fairness and Practicalities

What is fairness? A report published jointly by the Work Foundation and CIPD in 2013 noted that “trying to unravel what fairness is or thinking of ways to better manage it takes us into a conceptual minefield” therefore it was with great personal relief that the Greenwich Fairness Commission to which I am contributing decided on a pragmatic approach and agreed their definition in its inaugural meeting.

Fairness for the purpose of this Commission means reducing poverty, improving quality of life and increasing opportunities for disadvantaged residents in Greenwich.

The Commission is now nearing the end of its evidence gathering phase which has shone a light on key areas where disadvantage lies and when it reports this spring, we hope to provide a focused set of actions that local people, organisations, employers and others can take to make a difference. The model of drilling down into key areas such as education, health, housing and employment is a valuable approach that can make practical a much contested concept and perhaps can encourage others to examine their localities also.

In a week when we have heard of the extent of global wealth inequity in the latest Oxfam report , surely “fairness” cannot be far from our thoughts.