Workplace Report April 2020

Coronavirus - Unions protecting workers; Pay - the Covid agenda; Case law on employment tribunals and contracts

Pay and prices

March pay flat as prices rise (110 words)

Pay settlements remained fairly consistent in March, suggesting that the coronavirus crisis is yet to have a major impact on bargaining. ...
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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) (251 words)

Regular pay excluding bonuses. Percentage annual increases ...
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Full-time weekly average earnings (39 words)

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

Median increases for three months to February 2020 ...
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Prices (77 words)

1 Retail Prices Index (RPI), 
Jan ’87=100 ...
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2020 forecasts (42 words)

1 Fourth quarter ...
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Bargaining news

Transport workers impacted by coronavirus crisis (796 words)

This Easter weekend, general trade union Unite secured sick pay at full pay from day one for all of London’s bus staff. Unite regional officer, Joe ...
Open access

Unions confront challenge set by air fleet groundings (579 words)

The impact of the grounding of airline fleets and massive reduction in air travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic has had mixed results for workers in ...
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CWU celebrates derogation loophole closure (408 words)

From 6 April, the UK’s more than 700,000 agency workers can secure a better working deal, thanks to the abolition of “pay between assignment” ...
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New template lockdown agreement (75 words)

Unite is offering new tools to help workers during the pandemic. One is a template lockdown agreement that reps and negotiators can adapt to suit ...
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Police cleaners avoid pandemic pay cut (173 words)

UNISON members at Staffordshire Police branch have persuaded construction and buildings management company Kier to rethink proposed wage cuts for ...
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Scottish government recognises care workers’ role (420 words)

The Scottish government has recognised the vital contribution of care workers with a u-turn on PPE and an instant pay rise to the real living wage. ...
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Workers continue to fight for furlough deals (211 words)

Unite says that it has negotiated a deal for British engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce’s global workforce which puts safety first. In March, the ...
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Scots public sector workers’ 3% rise (274 words)

In the midst of the Covid-19 emergency and worries about the availability of staff, the Scottish government and trade unions carried out bargaining ...
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Equality news

Culture shift needed on age prejudice (350 words)

Last month health secretary Matt Hancock called on 65,000 retired doctors and nurses in England and Wales, to return to the NHS to help tackle the ...
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Working parents in ‘desperate need’ during outbreak (399 words)

Working parents desperately need more support during the pandemic, according to a report by the charity Working Families that highlights the ...
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New app targets at-risk young workers and apprentices (254 words)

A new app to help apprentices and other young workers stay safe in the workplace, with particular focus on workplaces where unions are not ...
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Learning and training news

Learn at home during Covid-19 (245 words)

Unionlearn has launched a Learning@home campaign to support workers who are self-isolating, working from home, or find themselves out of work during ...
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Apprenticeships - coronavirus guidance (72 words)

The government and unionlearn have both issued guidance on apprenticeships during the pandemic. A key point is that apprentices’ learning may ...
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Skills for the 21st century (106 words)

A forthcoming LRD booklet, Skills for work, examines the skills challenges that the fourth industrial revolution poses for the UK economy and how ...
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Recruitment and organisation news

Unions organising digitally (408 words)

Evidence is emerging that some groups of workers are joining unions in increased numbers during the Covid-19 crisis, and unions are keen to keep new ...
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STUC survey (137 words)

Unionised workers in Scotland feel safer and better able to weather the coronavirus lockdown than non-unionised ones, according to a Scottish TUC ...
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European news

Renault reaches restart deal (189 words)

French motor manufacturer Renault has reached a deal with unions on pay during the lock-down and the terms of a return to work. But, although unions ...
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German deals postpone pay increases but improve Covid compensation (605 words)

German unions have reached a series of deals with employers which generally postpone bargaining on pay increases until next year, but improve pay ...
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Italian unions agree return to work arrangements (153 words)

The metal working unions of the three Italian union confederations, CGIL, CISL and UIL, have signed an agreement with motor manufacturer FCA ...
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Redeployment to nursing homes agreed (106 words)

Ireland’s biggest union, SIPTU, has reached agreement with Irish health service the HSE (Health Service Executive) which will allow health workers ...
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Law - Tribunal procedures

Employment tribunals during the pandemic (493 words)

Like most aspects of life, the employment tribunal system is affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The ET president has asked parties to approach the ...
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Interim relief granted despite disputed employment status (669 words)

Dr Hancock, a dentist, entered into an agreement, described as an “associate agreement”, with a dental practice called Simply Smile Manor House ...
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Law - Contracts

Contracts - the law (368 words)

Employment rights depend, as a minimum, on the presence of an “employment relationship”. There are important legal distinctions between an ...
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Moped delivery driver was a worker (1,667 words)

Mr Augustine worked for three months as a moped courier for Stuart Delivery Limited, part of DPD group. Stuart describes itself as a technology ...
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Unfair dismissal claim allowed despite past illegality (1,095 words)

The Claimant, Mrs Robinson, worked as a housekeeper for a member of the Saudi royal family for ten years, from 2007 to 2017, looking after his UK ...
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Law - Other Law News

Morrisons’ workers left empty handed (172 words)

Staff at supermarket chain Morrisons were left disappointed by the long-awaited Supreme Court ruling in the case of internal auditor Andrew Skelton, ...
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Health & safety news

Call to action for Workers’ Memorial Day (256 words)

NHS unions UNISON, the RCN and RCM have called on the country to observe a minute’s silence at 11am on 28 April, International Workers’ Memorial ...
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Keeping pregnant workers safe during the outbreak (418 words)

The TUC has called on the government to protect the health, jobs and income of pregnant workers during the coronavirus outbreak. It makes clear that ...
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Unions set conditions for school reopenings (283 words)

Responding to media speculation that schools may soon re-open, the teachers’ NEU union has set out a list of demands in a letter to prime minister ...
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Health & safety - HSE Monitor

Enforce Covid safety HSE is told (300 words)

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) must “step up” and enforce the legal duty on employers to protect workers’ health and safety during the ...
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New coronavirus advice from HSE (296 words)

The HSE has issued new information and advice on health and safety during the coronavirus outbreak, covering issues ranging from fitting respiratory ...
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Union launches legal action over safety (125 words)

Private hire drivers’ union UPHD has launched a legal challenge against government and local authority failure to protect licensed private hire ...
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UK government out of step with Scotland and Wales, says STUC (279 words)

Unions have welcomed news that the Welsh government will put into law a two-metre social distancing requirement in the workplace, as well as ...
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Features

Unions protecting workers (3,500 words)

Last month the government ordered thousands of businesses and organisations to close their workplaces to slow the spread of Covid-19. But millions of ...
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Pay: the Covid agenda (2,190 words)

As the UK reels from the pandemic, health and safety have become our chief concerns. But, after a difficult “lost decade”, and with a new ...
Open access