Labour Research June 2019

Emergency services: in need of rescue? - Years of austerity cuts, with staff subjected to a “more for less” culture, have taken their toll on Britain’s emergency services; Asbestos remains a deadly problem - Asbestos is not just a problem of the past. It continues to pose risks to todays workers, students and members of the public; Adapting to the home working trend - Remote working has many advantages for both employers and employees, yet it’s still the case that too few employers consider it.


Care home sector in need of urgent reform, says UNISON 
 (395 words)

The announcement that one of Britain’s largest care home groups, Four Seasons Health Care, has gone into administration should act as an “urgent ...
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Rail union warns of ‘total chaos’
 (308 words)

The RMT rail union has warned of total chaos as private operators demand “a rail franchise free-for-all”.
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PCS strikes
 (109 words)

Last month, workers at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Department for Businesss, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) took two and ...
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Report attacks inequality and poverty in foodbank Britain
 (301 words)

The government was under fire again last month for its record on inequality and poverty. A final report from United Nations special rapporteur Philip ...
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Jobs uncertainty slammed
 (215 words)

Unions have demanded reassurances for Bombardier workers as the aerospace firm announced plans to sell its operations in Northern Ireland — where ...
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Unions will help just transition (254 words)

Trade unions will help achieve a just transition to low carbon economy, said the TUC in response to a report released last month by the Committee on ...
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Unemployment posts a fall
 (183 words)

Unemployment posted the largest fall for over two years. 
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Earnings growth falls (80 words)

Average earnings data shows a fall in growth in March. The rolling three-month average growth figure for wages in the whole economy was down to 3.2% ...
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (415 words)

Inflation +3.0%; Average earnings +2.3% ...
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Union news

Unorganised sectors are focus for recruitment bid by unions (417 words)

Two independent unions in relatively unorganised sectors have been launched in recent weeks, in what would appear to be a trend as precarious ...
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Trade unions across Europe are becoming increasingly female (233 words)

Across Europe, unions are becoming increasingly female, according to a major survey carried out by the Labour Research Department for the European ...
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Blacklisting victory 
 (110 words)

The Unite general union has won a total of £1.9 million compensation on behalf of 53 trade union members after major construction firms admitted ...
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PCS election (63 words)

There is a new number two in place at civil and public service union PCS after Jon Moloney won a three-horse race to be the union’s assistant ...
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Doug McAvoy
 (40 words)

Doug McAvoy, former leader of the NUT teachers’ union — now part of the NEU — has died at the age of 80.
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HS2 union deal
 (34 words)

The TSSA rail union has reached what it calls a “ground-breaking” recognition agreement with high-speed rail company HS2 Ltd. The deal covers all ...
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European news

French unions continue to oppose reshaping of public services (428 words)

Plans by Emmanuel Macron’s government to reshape French public services face continuing union opposition. All nine union confederations represented ...
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Polish teachers issue pay rise demand
 (249 words)

The main ZNP Polish teachers’ union, has called on local authorities to bring forward promised pay rises to June after suspending its national ...
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Dutch Pension age
 (140 words)

FNV, the main union confederation in the Netherlands, has called on the government to halt the increase in the state pension age to 66 years and ...
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Thyssenkrupp promises no compulsory redundancies 
 (117 words)

Following its announcement that it planned to cut 4,000 jobs in Germany, the steelmaker Thyssenkrupp has guaranteed that there will be no compulsory ...
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Cuts mean crisis for emergency services
 (2,448 words)

As bereaved families mark the second anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire this month, Labour Research looks at how austerity has impacted on 999 ...
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Asbestos: still a deadly killer
 (2,443 words)

Exposure to the considerable dangers of asbestos is not something that belongs solely to the past. There is an ongoing risk to workers and others, as ...
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Exploiting the home advantage?
 (1,869 words)

Many more people would like the opportunity to work from home for at least part of their working week. Labour Research reports.

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Law Matters

Ruling clarifies law over disability discrimination
 (494 words)

If something arising as a consequence of an employee’s disability has a “material influence” on a decision to dismiss the employee, the ...
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Criminal proceedings and disciplinary processes (161 words)

The Court of Appeal has held that a doctor could be disciplined by an NHS trust before a police investigation had been conducted, but the trust was ...
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IWGB loses recognition case 
 (124 words)

The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) has lost its challenge to enter into a collective bargaining agreement with the University ...
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Data protection
 (137 words)

The High Court has ordered a lobbyist for the asbestos industry to provide further information to a doctor after failing to adequately respond to the ...
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Law Queries

Notice (201 words)

Q. My manager’s behaviour over the past two years has been aggressive and belittling and I have finally found another job to go to. Do I have to ...
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Interim relief (223 words)

Q. What is a claim for “interim relief”? ...
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Grievance and flexible working (325 words)

Q. I recently told my manager that I would be taking out a grievance in respect of her refusal to consider my request to work from home one day a ...
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Law Back-up

Gross misconduct sacking: what does the law say?
 (955 words)

It is rarely fair for an employer to dismiss an employee without notice for a first offence. An exception is where there is gross misconduct — an ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Unions may strike over health and safety
 (379 words)

Unions have warned employers across a number of sectors that their members are ready to take strike action over health and safety. 
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Tributes paid to Lyra Mckee (171 words)

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) dedicated its World Press Freedom Day event in London last month to murdered journalist, author and activist ...
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Work-related carcinogens
 (146 words)

A new study has highlighted the role of work-related carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) and pollution in contributing to lung cancer in people ...
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Call for inquiry into airport safety
 (88 words)

Last month, the Unite general union launched a campaign for an independent inquiry to improve airport safety at Heathrow following the death of Unite ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Grenfell two years on: how much has changed?
 (894 words)

It’s two years since 72 people lost their lives in the Grenfell Tower fire on 14 June 2017, and there is growing frustration and anger at the slow ...
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Equality news

Pre-employment health queries still a problem
 (331 words)

Certain employers continue to ask unlawful pre-employment questions, even though it is nine years on since the Equality Act 2010 (EA 10) was passed, ...
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Rail union warns of ‘mass transport discrimination’
 (287 words)

Warnings of “mass transport discrimination” against disabled passengers were made last month as the RMT rail union marked the third anniversary ...
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Tech sector employees face prejudice (224 words)

Discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, age and neurodivergence is a major problem in the technology sector, new research reveals.
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Workplace Back-up

More support needed around neurodiversity
 (835 words)

Employment relations service Acas has published new guidance to help employers support neurodivergent employees in the workplace. Back-up looks at ...
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e-views (468 words)

If you work on a union website, be it the national website or one for a local branch, there is a useful procedure you can carry out to audit your ...
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News from LRD

LRD annual 
general meeting
 (111 words)

The Labour Research Department (LRD) annual general meeting took place on 20 May and approved the 2018 report and accounts. 
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