Labour Research November 2018

Exploitation is the name of the game - There are huge levels of exploitation of workers in the video gaming industry, where attempts at unionisation are now being made; Calling time on the abuse of shopworkers - Those working in the retail and hospitality sectors are facing an increased risk of threats, violence and abuse, as Labour Research finds out; Trump’s anti-worker administration - The US presidency of Donald Trump has produced a range of attacks on workers. But some have been determined to fight back


Too many are forced into sham self-employment, says TUC 
 (372 words)

Half of self-employed adults aged 25 and over are earning less than the minimum wage — a total of two million people, according to new analysis by ...
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‘Care injustice’ means some areas experience substandard services
 (272 words)

There is growing “care injustice”, with people’s experience of care varying according to where they live, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) ...
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Industrial news (239 words)

Last month, workers from across the hospitality industry came together for a day of action in disputes over pay, working conditions and union ...
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Stalled rollout of Universal Credit exposes weakness of new benefit
 (325 words)

The government has been asked to provide urgent answers in the wake of news that the rollout of its flagship Universal Credit (UC) system is to be ...
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Union warns over car industry
 (223 words)

The Unite general union has called on Tory ministers to put the livelihoods of the car industry ahead of “self-interested political ambition”, ...
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Amazon offsets
 pay increase
 (125 words)

Global retail giant Amazon faced heavy criticism last month after it emerged a pay increase announced for its workforce would be offset by the ...
Open access

Unemployment posts another fall
 (212 words)

The number of unemployed people in the UK fell by 47,000 to 1.36 million in the three-month period ending August from the 1.41 million for the ...
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Cheaper food cuts inflation (66 words)

Lower food prices offset dearer petrol and oil to cut inflation. Under the Retail Prices Index, inflation was down to 3.3% in September from 3.5% the ...
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (426 words)

Inflation +3.3%, Average earnings +2.9% ...
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Union news

Government will pay union £3 million in compensation
 (267 words)

The PCS civil service union has won a major victory against government union-busting, netting the union £3 million in compensation.
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Unite welcomes ‘emphatic ruling’ (251 words)

General union Unite has welcomed last month’s “emphatic ruling” of the certification officer, who dismissed all complaints made against general ...
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RCN elections
 (184 words)

Elections get underway later this month in the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) for a new Council, the union’s governing body, following the stepping ...
Open access

Boots bargaining unit
 (76 words)

The Central Arbitration Committee has ruled on the definition of the bargaining unit to be used in the long-running Boots/PDA union recognition saga. ...
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European news

Union density in France is low but broadly stable (344 words)

New figures show that only around one in 10 French employees are members of a union. However, so far there is no evidence of a long-term decline in ...
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Pressure is on for pay rises
 in Poland (365 words)

After seven years during which public sector pay has lagged behind pay in the private sector, there is growing pressure for substantial pay rises for ...
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Problems faced by self-employed
 (153 words)

One in 10 workers in the EU are now self-employed with no employees. But they have fewer rights than other employees, points out a new report from ...
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Action against Finnish dismissallaws
 (85 words)

Finnish unions have taken action, including strikes, against government plans to make it easier to dismiss individuals in companies with 20 or fewer ...
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Grand theft of workers’ overtime
 (2,517 words)

Working to make video games sounds like a cool job. In reality it is rife with insecurity, extreme pressure and huge amounts of forced unpaid ...
Open access

Workers call time on abuse
 (2,155 words)

With workers in the retail and hospitality sectors increasingly prone to threats, abuse and violence, unions are stepping up their action.
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Fighting Trump’s attacks
 (2,190 words)

As Americans prepare to vote this month in the mid-term elections, Labour Research looks at how president Donald Trump’s administration has ...
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Law Matters

'Notice' letter did not amount to resignation
 (303 words)

A hospital employee who handed her manager a letter asking him to accept “one month’s notice” did not resign from the hospital trust but simply ...
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Transfer was not reason for loss of historic bonus
 (340 words)

The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) protect the terms and conditions of employees whose employment ...
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Bereavement leave
 (88 words)

The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 has received Royal Assent and is expected to come into force in April 2020. 
Open access

Cake refusal was 
not discrimination
 (82 words)

The Supreme Court has held that a Christian bakery’s refusal to make a cake with the words “Support Gay Marriage” written on it was not direct ...
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Tribunal claims 
shoot up
 (86 words)

Employment tribunal figures released for April to June 2018 show a 165% increase in the number of claims issued compared to the same period in the ...
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Law Queries

Flexible working request by parent of disabled child (391 words)

Q. Am I entitled to change my working hours so that I can collect my disabled son from his school, which is some distance away? My manager is making ...
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Criticism by line manager (392 words)

Q. My new line manager seems to pick holes in everything I do, often ignoring contributions I make in meetings and failing to respond to my emails. ...
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Law Back-up

Commission consults on employment law hearings
 (831 words)

The Law Commission’s consultation paper on reforming employment law hearing structures is seeking views on a number of questions, including whether ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Proposals on cladding do not go far enough
 (266 words)

Government plans for a partial ban on some flammable cladding on high-rise buildings do not go far enough, according to the FBU firefighters’ union. ...
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Report boosts union’s case
 for guards (276 words)

A report published last month into a potentially fatal evacuation of train passengers, “reinforces and underpins the union case for a ...
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TUC hits out at Amazon (253 words)

Online retail giant Amazon must recognise trade unions and end exploitative working practices that have seen hundreds of ambulances called to its UK ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Stress is safety reps’ number one concern
 (926 words)

Work-related stress continues to be the top concern for union health and safety reps. So finds the TUC’s latest biennial safety reps’ survey ...
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Equality news

Legal careers need socio-economic parity
 (361 words)

There is enormous underrepresentation of people from lower socio-economic backgrounds in the legal profession, says research that examines the ...
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'Patrols' initiative aims to assist young workers
 (221 words)

The TUC plans to pilot a “summer patrol” for young workers in Yorkshire next year following a visit earlier this year to observe a Norwegian ...
Open access

Cause for cheer on work-life balance (206 words)

Part-time and reduced-hours workers are awarded higher performance ratings than full-time staff, according to a study of its member organisations by ...
Open access

Workplace Back-up

Apprenticeships must put focus on quality
 (823 words)

A new select committee report looking into the quality and standard of apprenticeships adds to burgeoning criticism of the government’s skills ...
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e-views (423 words)

The way we physically interact with computers hasn’t changed dramatically over the last 30 years. The one big change has been the use of touch ...
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News from LRD

LRD changes
 legal status
 (113 words)

The Labour Research Department (LRD) has changed its legal form from an unincorporated association to a company limited by guarantee. 
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