Workplace Report May 2017

Facility time - in the face of more scrutiny of time off for union duties, a Workplace Report survey looks at what is provided in the private and public sectors; Zero-hours/short-hours - there has been a fast growth in precarious or insecure work, while some employers are trying to get around a ban on exclusivity clauses. Latest case law on discrimination

Pay and prices

Average rise is up to 2.4%
 (110 words)

Settlements on LRD’s Payline database of collective agreements posted a three-monthly median increase of 2.4% in April against the 2.0% trend in ...
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Labour Research Department’s Payline Database 
 (226 words)

Percentage increases on lowest basic rates (by agreements covered)
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Average weekly earnings (AWE)
 (254 words)

Regular pay excluding bonuses. Percentage annual increases
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Full-time weekly average earnings
 (42 words)

ASHE 2016 median uprated by AWE. ...
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XpertHR (19 words)

Median increases for three months to April 2017 ...
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Prices (77 words)

1 Retail Prices Index (RPI), 
Jan ’87=100 ...
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2017 forecasts (38 words)

1 Fourth quarter ...
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Bargaining news

Pay squeeze fears grow with higher inflation
 (796 words)

There is growing concern about a renewed squeeze on living standards this year as rising inflation outpaces incomes. 
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Further education
 employers drag feet on its response to pay claim
 (393 words)

Staff unions in further education say they have received no offer from the Association of Colleges (AoC) following the submission of their joint ...
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Improved higher education
 pay offer goes out for consultation
 (363 words)

Higher education unions are consulting on a final pay offer from the UCEA universities and college employers’ body for 2017-18.
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Three-year deal at Rolls-Royce Rotherham
 (184 words)

The Unite general union has negotiated a deal guaranteeing a minimum pay increase of 17% over three years, at the Rolls Royce Advanced Blade Casting ...
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Transfer of BBC’s Songs of Praise on hold
 (110 words)

BECTU, the media and entertainment sector of the Prospect specialist union has secured an agreement with the BBC to suspend plans for a 1 June ...
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Unions ready for tough fight over pensions
 (848 words)

Efforts by union members to hold on to quality “defined benefit” pension schemes in Royal Mail and the car and steel industries have had some ...
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Up to 10% at Ulster Bank 
 (286 words)

In a mediated settlement, members of the Finance Sector Union at Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland accepted a deal based on individual ...
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Equality news

Study focuses on barriers to drawing young into unions 
 (305 words)

A new report by the TUC looks into labour market trends affecting Britain’s young workers and explores future models of trade unionism. 
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Three-quarters expect to work beyond age of 65
 (394 words)

The proportion of UK employees who say they will work beyond the age of 65 is at an all-time high, as the savings crisis traps millions into later ...
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Sexual harassment in Town Halls
 (239 words)

Sexism is commonplace in local government with almost four in 10 female councillors having experienced sexist comments from within their own party, ...
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Learning and training news

Career-long skills system set out by think tank
 (225 words)

The future of the skills system in Scotland is the subject of a report from the IPPR think tank.
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Launch of new learning provider in Wales
 (90 words)

A new voluntary organisation, which will be the largest provider of adult learning in Wales, was launched at the end of April.
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Recruitment and organisation news

GMB claim victory over Lidl
 (289 words)

The GMB general union says low-cost retailer Lidl should form a “constructive relationship” with the union after the supermarket chain was forced ...
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IT workers fight for union rights
 (155 words)

The PCS public service union is building union recognition campaigns at two government-owned IT companies (GovCos) that are refusing to recognise the ...
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UNISON’s clarion call heralds bargaining deal
 (120 words)

Public services union UNISON has reached a voluntary collective bargaining agreement with the UK’s largest housing association, Clarion, which ...
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European news

Irish Unions look to regain lost ground on pay
 (473 words)

Paschal Donohoe, the Irish minister for public expenditure and reform, has formally sent an invitation to public sector unions to start talks on a ...
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Spanish stores agree double the going rate
 (360 words)

Employers and unions have reached a new four-year agreement for the around 250,000 workers in large Spanish stores, which will increase pay by 2.5% ...
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Italians unions reach deal at Amazon
 (150 words)

An agreement on pay and conditions for workers working for Amazon in the company’s Italian warehouses in Milan and Origgio, a small town nearby, ...
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Law - Discrimination

Discrimination - the law (932 words)

Discrimination law is found in the Equality Act 2010 (EA10). The EA10 lists nine “protected characteristics”: age; disability; gender ...
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Requirement for mother to work after 5pm was discriminatory
 (755 words)

Ms Lancaster was employed at Fidessa, a software provider for financial services companies. She worked as an engineer in a three-person Connectivity ...
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School too quick to dismiss teacher on long-term sick leave
 (703 words)

Ms O’Brien is a teacher. She was employed as director of learning ICT at Bolton St Catherine’s Academy School. 
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Indirect discrimination rulings handed down by Supreme Court 
 (1,329 words)

The Supreme Court (SC) considered these two important and union-backed cases together. In the Essop case, there are 49 Home Office employees with ...
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Headscarf ban legal in firm with neutral dress policy
 (431 words)

Ms Achbita, a Muslim, was employed as a receptionist by G4S, a reception services provider. She wanted to wear an Islamic headscarf to work. ...
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Multiple choice test discriminated against applicant with Asperger’s
 (418 words)

Ms Brookes was a trainee solicitor with Asperger’s syndrome. She applied to work for the Government Legal Service (GLS) and as part of the ...
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Health & safety news

Register aims to defuse ‘ticking time bomb’ of diesel fumes
 (327 words)

Exposure to diesel fumes has created a “ticking time bomb” and the Conservative government is “burying its head in the sand and allowing people ...
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Great brutish bake-off
 (160 words)

The punishing long hours’ and “brutal kitchen culture” are putting the mental and physical health of chefs in London at risk and driving ...
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Firefighters safety concerns over EMR 
 (251 words)

The FBU fire brigades union has set out why health and safety and mental wellbeing are major factors in firefighters’ resistance to emergency ...
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In-house security guards
 (179 words)

Shopworkers’ union Usdaw has called for more in-house security guards to protect convenience store staff from the risk of violence, threats and ...
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Police staff stressed
 (106 words)

A poll of civilian police staff carried out by the GMB union found that more than 70% are suffering from work-related stress.
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Health & safety - HSE Monitor

Fewer HSE inspectors as headcount cut by a quarter
 (310 words)

Workers’ lives are being put at risk as a result of “the Conservatives’ obsession” with cutting so-called red tape, according to the Unite ...
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New labour regulator but will it have sufficient resources? 
 (208 words)

A new regulator with “police-style” powers to tackle labour exploitation takes on the role and remit of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) ...
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Support schemes for domestic abuse victims
 (124 words)

Delegates at the annual conference of shop and distribution workers’ union Usdaw have backed a call for new laws to require employers to introduce ...
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Fees for Intervention
 (167 words)

Last month, the HSE launched a consultation on a revised and independent process for considering disputes under its Fee for Intervention (FFI) cost ...
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Fall in deaths at work but data just ‘tip of iceberg’
 (127 words)

The number of work-related deaths is expected to have fallen from last year, but the latest “RIDDOR” statistics recorded for the HSE are “just ...
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Union reps need to be on guard against attacks on facility time
 (3,342 words)

Arrangements for facility time — time off for trade union duties — are being opened up for potentially hostile scrutiny as a result of the Trade ...
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Millions of employees locked into world of insecure work 
 (2,376 words)

The reality for many workers is a world of zero-hours or short-term contracts and never knowing when employers will provide any work. Workplace ...
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