Labour Research January 2018

Insecure work and health and safety - there is mounting evidence that the growth of the gig economy and other forms of insecure work is bad for health and safety; The year ahead for workers and their unions - the year 2018 will, among other things, see unions continuing to fight groundbreaking legal cases around employment status; Democracy and the EU withdrawal Bill - unions are among those who have been warning that the government's EU withdrawal Bill represents a potential threat to democracy


Government must get tough on minimum wage cheats
 (337 words)

Naming and shaming employers who do not pay the minimum wage is not enough, and is a “poor substitute for prosecution” according to the GMB ...
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BBC survey reveals prevalence of workplace sexual harassment
 (283 words)

Two in five women in the UK say they have experienced unwanted sexual behaviour at work, according to a survey of 6,000 men and women commissioned by ...
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Industrial news (249 words)

The UCU lecturers’ and university staff union is balloting members in older pre-1992 universities over changes to the Universities Superannuation ...
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TUC says government must relinquish red lines on Brexit 
 (308 words)

The TUC has called on the government to drop its “self-defeating” red lines on Brexit and put the options of the UK staying in the EU single ...
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Awards must be properly funded
 (240 words)

Local government unions have called on the government to make sure pay awards for school and council staff are properly funded after local government ...
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Union calls for inquiry into rail franchising (236 words)

The RMT transport union has called for an immediate forensic inquiry into the sustainability of the government’s rail franchising programme after ...
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Unemployment continues to fall
 (196 words)

Unemployment has once again fallen, but the pace slowed in October.
Open access

RPI inflation edges down (71 words)

The upward trend in retail price inflation may have ended. In November, the annual rate of inflation under the Retail Prices Index (RPI) edged down ...
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (401 words)

Inflation +3.9%, Average earnings +2.3% ...
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Union news

Win for pharmacists’ union in recognition battle with Boots
 (476 words)

An independent pharmacists’ union has made a small piece of history in its long-running battle for statutory recognition at chemists’ giant Boots. ...
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Action over alleged blacklisting (185 words)

A union is to take legal action against courier firm Addison Lee for alleged union victimisation and blacklisting, after a bicycle courier member was ...
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Recognition demands (178 words)

The Unite general union has stepped up demands for formal union recognition in the Houses of Parliament after a survey revealed very serious levels ...
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 (67 words)

The BFAWU food union, which is affiliated to the Labour Party, has agreed to affiliate to campaign group Momentum. 
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European news

Little progress on training and unemployment benefits
 in France (468 words)

Negotiations between unions and employers in France on changes to the financing of training and unemployment benefit seem to be advancing very slowly. ...
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Greek government holds off changes on strike legislation 
 (156 words)

The Greek government has withdrawn proposals for new legislation on strikes, fearing a hostile reaction from its MPs. 
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Unions sign solidarity agreement
 (106 words)

The Belgian union confederation FGTB/ABVV and its Polish counterpart OPZZ have signed an agreement promising their members assistance if they are ...
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Strikes at Amazon in Germany
 (74 words)

German services union Ver.di has taken further action in its long-running dispute with US online retailer Amazon. 
Open access

Migrant deaths
 (62 words)

One of Spain’s two main union confederations, the CCOO, has called on the country’s government to provide greater human and material resources to ...
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Health and safety rights eroded by insecure work
 (2,265 words)

The impact of insecure work on health and safety is a growing union concern.
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What do we face in 2018?
 (2,275 words)

As the squeeze on real wages continues, the experts at Labour Research look at what else 2018 is likely to bring for unions and their members. 
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Democracy under threat
 (2,235 words)

Unions, campaign groups and non-governmental organisations have been warning that the EU withdrawal Bill, currently going through Parliament, could ...
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Law Matters

Supermarket was liable for ‘serious’ data leak
 (316 words)

An important case on data leaks recently saw the High Court rule that Morrisons supermarket was vicariously liable (had legal responsibility for) the ...
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Holiday pay ruling means victory for workers’ rights
 (348 words)

In a ruling with huge significance for workers’ rights, particularly those in the gig economy, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has confirmed ...
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Unite union takes blacklisters to court (235 words)

The Unite general union continues apace with its campaign against blacklisting, having recently issued a High Court case for unlawful conspiracy, ...
Open access

Law Queries

Data protection (188 words)

Q. What is the “right to be forgotten” under the new General Data Protection Regulations? ...
Open access

Termination payments (225 words)

Q. Is there still a tax exemption for termination payments under £30,000? ...
Open access

Flexible working requests (298 words)

Q. How can members best go about making a request for flexible working? ...
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Law Back-up

Report outlines renewal of employment framework
 (844 words)

Following proposals made in the Taylor Review on changes to employment status, as well as their own inquiry, the parliamentary select committees on ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Electronics industry conditions laid bare
 (244 words)

Workers are being exposed to highly toxic substances, long and unpredictable hours, bullying, harassment and violence in the global electronics ...
Open access

Public safety ‘at serious risk’
 (261 words)

Online taxi company Uber’s business model “puts public safety at serious risk”, says the GMB general union. 
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Government has nothing new to say (246 words)

TUC head of health and safety Hugh Robertson has described as “very disappointing” a government paper outlining the action it will take following ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Unions act on sexual harassment at work
 (907 words)

Back-up looks at the trade union response to recent revelations about sexual harassment.
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Equality news

Employers unclear about gender pay gap
 (449 words)

Employers are not as clear about the meaning of the “gender pay gap” (GPG) as they think they are, according to a government survey of 900 large ...
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BAME progress stalled
 (236 words)

Black and minority ethnic (BAME) employees are more likely than white employees to say career progression is important to them. But they are twice as ...
Open access

Mobility commission walks out (257 words)

All four members of the Social Mobility Commission have resigned just days after publishing a damning report on the state of the nation. The ...
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Workplace Back-up

Government’s training proposals welcomed
 (858 words)

The government published its industrial strategy White Paper at the end of November 2017 which includes its plans for developing learning and skills. ...
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e-views (422 words)

Which unions were the most influential on Twitter in 2017? Towards the end of each year I take a look at which of the TUC-affiliated unions have the ...
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News from LRD

LRD annual general meeting (94 words)

The 2018 annual general meeting of the Labour Research Department (LRD) is on Monday 21 May, 2018 from 2.00pm at Jerwood Space, Union Street, London ...
Open access