Workplace Report November 2019

Pay round 2018-19 - Union negotiators have been been busy, not just winning pay rises, but also improvements to other working conditions; ASHE 2019 - Workplace Report takes a look at the main findings of the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2019 and how earnings have fared in the Tory years.

Pay and prices

Settlements dip to 2.8%
 (107 words)

Settlements have returned to the level they were rising by at the beginning of the year, latest figures from LRD’s Payline database show.
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Labour Research Department’s Payline Database 
 (223 words)

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

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

ASHE 2019 median uprated by AWE. ...
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XpertHR (19 words)

Median increases for three months to September 2019 ...
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Prices (77 words)

1 Retail Prices Index (RPI), 
Jan ’87=100 ...
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2019 forecasts (39 words)

1 Fourth quarter ...
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Bargaining news

Collectively agreed pay deal just the tonic
 (743 words)

Pharmacists at Boots are enjoying their first collectively negotiated pay rise since their independent union, the PDAU, was recognised, after ten ...
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University lecturers strike over pensions and pay
 (444 words)

Sixty universities were embroiled in strikes and other industrial action as Workplace Report went to press, with the University and College Union ...
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Health workers in Northern Ireland strike over lack of pay parity with GB
 (316 words)

Health and social care workers in Northern Ireland are preparing to take strike action over staffing levels and the lack of pay parity with health ...
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Birmingham University support staff win improved offer
 (232 words)

UNISON members at Birmingham University have voted to accept an improved offer, concluding their dispute over the 2018-19 pay rise and other related ...
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Real Living Wage rates
 (60 words)

Earlier this month, new Living Wage rates were announced.
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Workers, not just employees, covered by TUPE (370 words)

A tribunal has ruled that the Transfer of Undertaking (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE) — applies not only to employees, but also to ...
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Unite want a little love and a pay rise from RSPCA
 (328 words)

Workers at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals charity are being consulted by the Unite general union to test the temperature ...
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Coventry University appraisal row
 (142 words)

Coventry University seems to have pushed members of the UCU lecturers’ union to the brink of strike action with its new appraisal system.
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Is 70 the new 65?
 (167 words)

The Office for National Statistics has attracted a lot of coverage for its recent report which could influence the debate about pensions, working age ...
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Equality news

Increase in number of over-50s who are night workers 
 (408 words)

Older workers are behind the increase in night working with nearly one million over-50s now working through the night, according to the TUC, amid ...
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Women’s ‘right to know’ about pay discrimination
 (325 words)

The majority (60%) of women in workplaces across the UK either don’t know what their male colleagues earn, or believe they are earning less than ...
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Votes of those on low-income could swing it
 (147 words)

Low-income voters could be a crucial force at the general election, according to poverty campaigners the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
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Gen Z and mental health
 (151 words)

Nearly one in six of Gen Z workers has taken a mental health sick day, but few have been honest with their employer about the true reason for being ...
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Learning and training news

Public sector
 staff ‘keen to learn’ new skills
 (389 words)

A third of public service workers are worried they will lose their jobs due to technological innovation or government cuts, according to a survey ...
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Unite union secures training support 
 (108 words)

General union Unite has secured a significant victory on behalf of low-paid cleaners who feared dismissal when training and language support was ...
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Recruitment and organisation news

More strikes as Interserve ‘plays games’ with FCO workers
 (263 words)

Outsourced workers at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have taken a sixth round of strike action in their long-running dispute over union ...
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Unite win recognition at Seal Security (54 words)

Security guards working for Seal Security on media group Bloomberg‘s London sites have been granted collective bargaining rights following a ...
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Increase in recognition claims forecast
 (98 words)

This year is likely to see a “significant” increase in the number of applications for statutory recognition to the Central Arbitration Committee ...
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European news

Search for consensus on EU-wide minimum wage 
 (467 words)

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) is set to debate its position on a European-wide minimum wage at a meeting of its Executive Committee ...
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Italian self-employed delivery ‘riders’ get protections
 (260 words)

The Italian parliament has approved new protections for self-employed delivery workers, who in future will be covered by national agreements where ...
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Austrian metalworkers’ inflation-beating rise
 (102 words)

Austrian unions PRO-GE (manual workers) and GPA-djp (non-manual) have agreed an average 2.7% pay increase in the metalworking industry at time when ...
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New rules on minimum wage in Slovenia a worry
 (116 words)

Unions in Slovenia are concerned that changes in the rules on the national minimum wage could lead to the loss of bonus payments. 
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Portugal’s minimum wage 
 (78 words)

The Portuguese government is to increase the minimum wage from the current €600 a month to €635 from January 2020. This is a 5.8% increase at a ...
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Law - Discrimination

Discrimination - the law (857 words)

Discrimination law is found in the Equality Act 2010 (EA10). The EA10 lists nine “protected characteristics”: age; disability; gender ...
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Racist Facebook post at home was not in ‘course of employment’
 (633 words)

Mr Forbes was employed as a security officer at London Heathrow Airport. 
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Managing with a reduced budget can be a legitimate aim
 (782 words)

Mr Heskett was a probation officer for the National Offender Management Service (NOMS). He brought a claim for indirect age discrimination arising ...
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Vegetarianism not a protected philosophical belief
 (526 words)

This case is a first instance ruling by an employment tribunal, so it is non-binding, but it breaks new ground and so is worth reporting. 
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Director removed for sharing views on same-sex adoption 
 (617 words)

Dr Page is a practising Christian who believes that only heterosexual couples should adopt children, not single parents or same-sex couples. 
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Whether sight defect can be corrected a practical question
 (514 words)

Mrs Mart brought a tribunal claim for disability discrimination. She suffered from diplopia (double vision). She also suffered from other conditions, ...
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Court challenge over women’s state pension age fails
 (631 words)

Pension campaigning group Backto60 brought a judicial review challenge through two female claimants, both born in the 1950s, led by the group Women ...
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Health & safety news

Demands for action on rising levels of violence
 (458 words)

Unions representing workers across a range of sectors have highlighted appalling levels of work-related violence and called for urgent action from ...
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UK ban on killer dust in jeopardy post-Brexit
 (255 words)

Trade unionists and safety campaigners marked the 20th anniversary of the UK asbestos ban with a series of events across the country. 
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Air pollution app 
 (209 words)

The British Safety Council (BSC) is offering unions free access to its Canairy air pollution app for London-based reps and members. 
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Stressed out teachers
 (65 words)

Teacher stress levels have hit a record high, according to the latest research. The Education Support Partnership charity’s 2019 Teacher wellbeing ...
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Health & safety - HSE Monitor

Unions welcome new guidance on welding
 (373 words)

Revised guidance on exposure to welding fume has been published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as it warned employers to expect enforcement ...
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Thirty construction workers killed on sites in 2018-19
 (281 words)

Construction workers are paying with their lives for the decrease in health and safety enforcement caused by the Tory government’s “swingeing ...
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Injuries and ill health 
 (161 words)

The HSE annual report published at the end of October includes official statistics for work-related ill health and injuries, working days lost, ...
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Fire crews overstretched by cuts
 (103 words)

Fire crews responding to floods in the north of England are overstretched and under-resourced, according to the fire brigades’ FBU union. ...
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It’s not just pay that’s been a target for negotiators
 (3,191 words)

Apart from a decent pay rise, what’s been on the union shopping list and likely to be on the want list for the present pay round? There is enormous ...
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It’s been said before — but things can only get better — with Labour 
 (1,888 words)

Pay has fallen over the years since the Conservatives have been in power and are still less in real terms than in 2008. It’s put into black and ...
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