Workplace Report April 2017

2016-17 pay round - There’s been a small boost for those on the lowest grades with the two increases in the National Living Wage in the latest pay round. However, the average rise for most workers has been stuck at 2.0%. Pay in the NHS - The 1% pay rise recommended for NHS staff by its Pay Review Body ( PRB) has made even the moderate Royal College of Nursing contemplate industrial action. The PRB has itself expressed concern over the pay cap. Latest case law on employment status, contracts and tribunals

Pay and prices

2% the norm
 (114 words)

It was as you were in March with a 2.0% increase on basic rates.
 ...
Open access

Labour Research Department’s Payline Database 
 (227 words)

Percentage increases on lowest basic 
rates (by agreements covered)
 ...
Open access

Average weekly earnings (AWE)
 (256 words)

Regular pay excluding bonuses. Percentage annual increases
 ...
Subscribers only

Full-time weekly average earnings
 (42 words)

ASHE 2016 median uprated by AWE. ...
Open access

XpertHR (19 words)

Median increases for three months to March 2017 ...
Open access

Prices (77 words)

1 Retail Prices Index (RPI), 
Jan ’87=100 ...
Open access

2017 forecasts (38 words)


1 Fourth quarter ...
Open access

Bargaining news

It’s an uphill struggle for local government unions to better 1%
 (827 words)

The government’s 1% pay cap has cut average public sector wages by between 3% and 7%, the TUC calculates, and although local government pay is not ...
Subscribers only

Unions look for improved higher education pay offer (457 words)

Higher education unions have called on employers to improve their pay offer for 2017-18. 
 ...
Subscribers only

Strike action over pension closures
 (295 words)

steps by unions to defend members’ pensions have continued, with strike action beginning at carmakers BMW and warnings of industrial action at ...
Subscribers only

Derby school support staff accept offer 
 (189 words)

UNISON members employed as school support staff in Derby have voted overwhelmingly to accept the City council’s latest offer to settle a 10-month ...
Open access

Union seeks assurances over Weetabix takeover
 (101 words)

The Unite general union has asked for an urgent meeting with the new owner of breakfast cereal makers Weetabix to seek assurances about job security ...
Open access

No soap but ‘deal memos’ for BECTU members
 (417 words)

BECTU, now the media and entertainment section of the professionals and specialists’ union Prospect, has finalised an agreement to govern the terms ...
Subscribers only

BT workers stick to guns and win RPI inflation increase
 (332 words)

Members of the CWU communication workers’ union at British Telecom (BT) have voted to accept a pay deal involving a 2.6% increase for all pay ...
Subscribers only

Uber appeals over ruling on drivers
 (259 words)

Digital cab platform Uber has been granted the right to appeal against last October’s ruling that its UK drivers should be treated as employed ...
Subscribers only

Equality news

UK in ‘relegation zone’ on decent maternity
 (372 words)

UK mums get one of the lowest amounts of decently-paid maternity leave in Europe, according to a TUC analysis, published in March to coincide with ...
Subscribers only

FBU battles on for justice on firefighter’s pensions
 (311 words)

The FBU firefighters’ union has said it will appeal the employment tribunal verdict that the transitional arrangements for the 2015 Firefighters’ ...
Subscribers only

Older worker inquiry
 (160 words)

The Women and Equalities Select Committee has launched an inquiry into older people and employment to examine policies to help people extend their ...
Open access

Young on minimum wage lose ground
 (144 words)

The National Minimum Wage for workers aged 16-20 is worth less in real terms than it was in 2008, TUC analysis revealed as the new minimum wage rates ...
Open access

Learning and training news

Skills and an ageing workforce
 (290 words)

The challenges facing older workers in accessing and sustaining themselves in the labour market are addressed in a recent report from the Skills ...
Subscribers only

Recruitment and organisation news

PCS aims to have presence in every workplace along with new recruits
 (421 words)

The PCS public and commercial services union has drawn up a National Organising Strategy — to be presented to its annual conference in May — ...
Subscribers only

Check-off pilot 
 (147 words)

Public services union UNISON has begun a pilot project to deal with the forthcoming legal changes to check-off (also known as “DOCAS”), where ...
Open access

Law - Employment status

Plumber has ‘worker status’ and isn’t self-employed 
 (946 words)

Mr Smith carried out plumbing work for Pimlico Plumbers, owned by Charlie Mullins, between 25 August 2005 and 28 April 2011. There were over 100 ...
Subscribers only

Law - Collective bargaining

Statutory right to negotiate over pay, hours and holidays
 (799 words)

This case was an important victory for the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA). It turned on the question of the extent of unions’ statutory ...
Subscribers only

Law - Contracts

Contracts - the law (313 words)

Employment rights depend, as a minimum, on the presence of an “employment relationship”. There are important legal distinctions between an ...
Subscribers only

Tribunal has no jurisdiction to interpret contractual terms 
 (593 words)

Ms Agarwal, a urological surgeon, had a dual role of lecturing for Cardiff University and clinical duties for a local health board. 
 ...
Subscribers only

Law - Tribunal procedures

Employment tribunals - the law (672 words)

Nearly all tribunal claims must be brought within three months less one day of the matter complained of. Tribunals can extend the time limit in an ...
Subscribers only

Previous settlement did not rule out subsequent claim
 (496 words)

Ms Brindley issued two separate disability discrimination claims against her employer, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). ...
Subscribers only

Rules only allow Acas to issue one EC certificate per matter 
 (516 words)

Mr Garau was employed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). 
 ...
Subscribers only

Health & safety news

UNISON steps up campaign as stress levels rise
 (354 words)

Public services union UNISON is urging its workplace reps to focus on stress in negotiations with employers after a survey of almost 10,000 union ...
Subscribers only

Gender-sensitive health and safety
 (124 words)

A new guide, Women’s health and safety @work, from the GMB general union aims to help its workplace reps, shop stewards, health and safety reps and ...
Open access

Still a long way to go on railway mental health
 (254 words)

Last month, transport union TSSA joined with the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) to run a groundbreaking mental health conference for union ...
Subscribers only

Health and safety guides
 (153 words)

Scientific and professionals’ union Prospect has published five new health and safety guides and a safety rep charter template following its Taking ...
Open access

Heat and heart attacks
 (110 words)

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh have called on fire services to help to reduce the number of firefighters suffering from heart attacks ...
Open access

Health & safety - HSE Monitor

Cuts in funding as HSE sets out priorities for the year
 (266 words)

The HSE’s business plan for 2017-18 says that its government funding will drop from £140.5 million last year to £135.6 million this financial ...
Subscribers only

Jail and fines for safety offenders
 (339 words)

Company directors have been jailed and a firm hit with a substantial fine over health and safety failures.
 ...
Subscribers only

Pollution incident attracts £20 million fine
 (109 words)

Thames Water has been handed down an unprecedented fine of more than £20 million (including costs) for repeated illegal discharges of sewage into ...
Open access

Call for action after windfarm deaths
 (157 words)

The Unite general union has called on the HSE to bring together all concerned to learn lessons and improve safety and welfare on windfarms after two ...
Open access

Concerns over defence guard privatisation
 (135 words)

The proposed privatisation of the Ministry of Defence Guard Service (MGS) will lead to a drop in standards and training with adverse repercussions ...
Open access

Features

Is it time to dust off the slogan Britain need a pay rise?
 (3,043 words)

The picture that emerges from a survey of 380 settlements drawn from the LRD Payline database is that: 
 ...
Subscribers only

Government pay policy pushes NHS staff to breaking point
 (2,427 words)

The NHS pay review body (PRB) recommendation of a pay award of 1% for NHS staff has been slammed as derisory by health unions. And when even the PRB ...
Subscribers only