Labour Research January 2019

Unions set young people in their sights - Unions recognise that they must do more to recruit, organise and support young people. Will 2019 be the year they make progress? The year ahead for workers and their unions - Like 2018, this year will continue to be overshadowed by Brexit. Nevertheless, other issues are likely to impact on unions; Juggling work and caring for family members - Although there is a legal entitlement to request flexible working, many workers still struggle to balance work with family care


Universal Credit claimants experience debt and misery
 (350 words)

A union survey of Universal Credit (UC) claimants found that more than three-quarters of respondents had been pushed into debt, or further into debt ...
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Key roles filled by volunteers as government cuts continue to bite
 (280 words)

Amid ongoing cutbacks, cash-strapped police forces are filling some key job vacancies with unpaid volunteers, says a report published by the UNISON ...
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Palaces dispute
 (96 words)

Members of the PCS civil service union working for Historic Royal Palaces (HRP) have voted overwhelmingly to take action to defend their pensions ...
Open access

Protest at Teesside biomass plant
 (97 words)

In December, members of the GMB general union staged protests outside a biomass plant in Teesside over suspicions that the employer has brought in ...
Open access

Urgent action demanded to avoid ‘Carillion mark two’
 (345 words)

Concerns are growing that government contractor Interserve could become the next Carillion — the construction giant that collapsed in January, ...
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BA pay claim is ‘unprecedented’
 (175 words)

Three unions have joined forces to submit an “unprecedented” pay claim to British Airways. 
Open access

Shipbuilding contract comes under fire (241 words)

The GMB general union has accused the government of selling UK jobs down the river after it announced its decision to shortlist four non-UK firms for ...
Open access

Unemployment rate edges up
 (202 words)

An increase in the number of unemployed men pushed unemployment higher, the latest figures show.
Open access

Average earnings rise (65 words)

Average weekly earnings posted an increase of 3.9% in the year to October 2018 — up from a 2.9% increase the previous month. 
Open access

Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (411 words)

Inflation +3.3%, Average earnings +3.9% ...
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Union news

Employer’s failure results in recognition victory for union
 (474 words)

In the first ever case of its kind, the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) has awarded a union recognition for collective bargaining purposes after ...
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Drive boosts record recruitment (179 words)

A month-long recruitment and retention drive by public services union UNISON has achieved its best recruitment figures for a single month ever, the ...
Open access

Centenary celebration for ILO
 (224 words)

January sees the start of celebrations to mark the centenary of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations agency which promotes ...
Open access

European news

Yellow Vest protests force Macron to make concessions
 (470 words)

French president Emmanuel Macron has agreed to a number of measures to improve living standards in response to the so-called Yellow Vest protesters ...
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Danish union merger complete
 (184 words)

From 1 January 2019, there is a transformation to the Danish trade union landscape. Denmark’s two largest union confederations, LO and FTF, have ...
Open access

Greek pension cut cancelled
 (91 words)

The Greek government has cancelled a planned cut in pensions that could have led to 1.4 million pensioners (more than half the total) losing at least ...
Open access

Improved benefits
 for self-employed (155 words)

The council of ministers for employment and social affairs, comprising representatives of EU national governments, has agreed a recommendation that ...
Open access


Unions make 2019 the Year of Young Workers
 (2,253 words)

The union movement has designated 2019 as a year in which to focus on young workers. Labour Research looks at the kind of activity we might see ...
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What can we expect in 2019?
 (2,345 words)

Amid Brexit uncertainty, the experts at Labour Research look at the issues likely to be impacting on UK workers and their unions in the year ...
Open access

Work is still not flexible enough
 (2,377 words)

Many workers continue to find it extremely difficult juggling work and caring responsibilities, despite legislative changes providing statutory ...
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Law Matters

Union recognition claim rejected by High Court
 (339 words)

The High Court has rejected the claim for union recognition by the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) on behalf of delivery drivers ...
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Implied term bars dismissal
 (332 words)

An employer’s power to dismiss an employee for incapacity was restricted when the employee had already become entitled to payment from a long-term ...
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Employment Tribunal claims rise, but are still below pre-fees level (232 words)

Recently-published minutes of the meeting of the Employment Tribunal National User Group (England and Wales) held in September 2018, show a 165% ...
Open access

Correction: sex discrimination 
 (57 words)

A reader has alerted us to an error in the recently-published LRD booklet, Equality law at work. When discussing the protected characteristics in the ...
Open access

Law Queries

Repaying training fees
 (226 words)

Q. I’ve just handed in my notice and my manager says I have to pay back £600 for a training course I did last year. They will be taking it out of ...
Open access

Overpayment of wages (145 words)

Q. My employer says they will deduct over £200 from my wages next month because they’ve overpaid expenses from a conference I went to almost a ...
Open access

Expired warnings
 (417 words)

Q. Can an employer take account of a final written warning that has already expired in a disciplinary hearing for a further allegation of misconduct? ...
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Law Back-up

Does veganism amount to a philosophical belief?
 (915 words)

The question of whether veganism is a “belief” for the purpose of equality legislation received some attention from the media in December as a ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Carcinogens are big factor in inequalities
 (188 words)

Occupational cancers are more likely to kill cleaners, nurses and labourers than engineers, managers or bankers, says new research from the European ...
Open access

Questions raised over MHFA
 (343 words)

There is a lack of proof of the effectiveness of mental health first aid (MHFA) — training designed to assist the “first aiders” to help ...
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Drugs test victory (261 words)

A 62-year-old bus driver has won his unfair dismissal claim against First Essex Buses which sacked him after he “implausibly” tested positive for ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Major sales days mean more risks for workers 
 (870 words)

With the January sales aiming to draw in shoppers hunting for a bargain, Back-up looks at union warnings that current models of retail and garment ...
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Equality news

Young workers suffer customer harassment
 (385 words)

Young workers are more likely to be the victim of harassment, abuse or violence committed by a customer, client, patient, member of the public or a ...
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Lower-paid fear raising mental health issues
 (246 words)

Workers on lower salaries feel less comfortable talking to their employer about mental health, reveals a new report.
Open access

Youth services clobbered (262 words)

Young people’s futures are being put at risk as a result of the government axing £13.3 million from youth services across the UK in just three ...
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Workplace Back-up

Mental health must be taken more seriously
 (896 words)

Pressure is increasing on the government to update legislation that would ensure that the status of workplace mental health is placed on the same ...
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e-views (405 words)

Which unions are the most generous on Twitter in terms of retweets, replies or mentions of other Twitter users? 
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