[cover image][272 pages] October 2021
Health and Safety Law 2021
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Trade unions and their safety reps have demonstrated throughout the Covid pandemic that union workplaces are safer workplaces. In order to carry out their vital role, reps need to know about their rights and their employers’ obligations to help them take action to keep their members safe, both in workplaces and working from home. This latest edition of the Labour Research Department’s guide to health and safety law has been updated since the government swept away legal restrictions and social distancing aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19 infection from 19 July. It reflects the fact that the government’s BEIS business department guidelines on making 14 different types of workplace “Covid-Secure”, that unions had an input into developing, have now been replaced by six sets of Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance which the TUC described as rushed through, inadequate, and a “recipe for chaos and rising infections”. This is also the first post-Brexit edition of Health and Safety Law. It looks at the immediate impact of the UK’s departure from the European Union on the UK health and safety system, and what could happen in the longer term. Health and Safety Law 2021 aims to provide safety reps and other trade union reps with a comprehensive guide to health and safety law and guidance as they work through the pandemic and beyond. It sets out the law using clear and practical language, explains the changes that have taken place since the last edition, and details any forthcoming changes in the year ahead. [More ...]
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[cover image][56 pages] May 2021
Covid and mental health - a guide for union reps
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Covid-19 has worsened an existing mental health crisis in the UK, with analysis from the Centre for Mental Health predicting that up to 10 million people will need either new or additional mental health support, either as a direct result of the pandemic or because of the economic fallout. The consequences of Covid-19 have been profound for the workforce, with levels of work-related stress, depression and anxiety at a record high. This booklet is an action guide for reps, setting out what they can do to ensure that employers tackle mental health issues in the workplace and provide support for workers affected. It draws on up-to-date employment law, as well as providing the latest guidance, research and campaigning material from across the union movement and key organisations such as the Health and Safety Executive. It includes examples of how union reps have taken action to secure improvements and highlights employer good practice on preventing or reducing Covid-related mental ill health at work. [More ...]
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[cover image][64 pages] February 2021
Working safely with COVID-19 - a guide for workplace reps
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The coronavirus pandemic has presented significant new health and safety challenges for workers and their trade unions. This LRD booklet looks at what measures union reps can take to protect workers from the spread of the virus and make their workplaces safe; and at how reps can make sure employers are carrying out "suitable and sufficient" COVID-19 risk assessments, particularly in the light of the emergence of new and more contagious variants of the virus. The booklet gives examples of good practice on risk assessment as well as examining how reps can ensure workplace safety for workers at particular risk of severe illness from COVID. It also covers health and safety law enforcement and how to report COVID safety concerns. And it contains appendices with extensive risk assessment checklists and union guidance on ensuring risk assessments are "suitable and sufficient".[More ...]
Save 15% on four booklets for pandemic times - See Covid-19 booklet package for details.

[cover image][56 pages] June 2019
Workplace action on mental health - a trade union guide
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Mental ill health is currently high up in the news agenda, but people experiencing mental health problems continue to face numerous difficulties at work. Union reps and other workplace union activists are in an excellent position to increase awareness of mental health problems in their workplaces and to negotiate good employer policies which improve wellbeing at work. This booklet gives practical advice to union reps on negotiating workplace policies and procedures on mental health. It aims to help reps work with employers to make workplaces supportive for individuals experiencing either long-term or short-term mental health difficulties, and to ensure that mental health problems are not created by work itself.[More ...]

[cover image][72 pages] February 2019
Tackling bullying and harassment at work - a guide for union reps and workers
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Bullying and harassment is a daily reality for many workers, making their working lives intolerable. The issue is a major concern for unions, ranking second only to stress as the hazard most likely to be reported by union safety reps. However, unions and workers do not have to simply accept this. Employers have a legal duty to tackle bullying and harassment and there is action that can be taken to deal with the problem. This updated guide provides union reps with examples of best practice and practical guidance on what they can do to prevent bullying and harassment in the workplace, how it can be tackled collectively, and how best to provide support and representation for members who are being bullied and/or harassed at work.[More ...]

[cover image][112 pages] December 2018
Sickness absence and sick pay - a guide for trade unions and working people
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No-one knows when they might need the support of a good sick pay scheme and a fair absence management policy. The aim of this booklet is to highlight the issues that need to be addressed in securing one, and to help reps support members who are off sick. It takes into account recent developments and trends, such as the rise of "presenteeism" and "leavism", and the growing focus on workplace wellbeing. Examples of good practice from a range of workplaces and collective agreements, as well as up-to-date case law, are included throughout.[More ...]

[cover image][72 pages] September 2018
Women's health and safety at work - a guide for union reps
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The UK’s 15 million working women now make up around half the workforce. But the risks they face at work are often described as hidden or invisible and, for a number of reasons examined in the booklet, "women’s work" is sometimes perceived as safer than traditionally male-dominated occupations. Where these differences are acknowledged when assessing risks and deciding suitable solutions, there is a greater chance of ensuring that the health, safety and welfare of all workers is protected. Women's health and safety at work sets out the hidden hazards of women’s work and explains why taking a gender-sensitive approach to occupational safety and health is important.[More ...]
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[cover image][48 pages] October 2017
Drug and alcohol policies at work - a guide for union reps
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Union reps need to understand the issues relating to drugs and alcohol at work, particularly as many employers with drug and alcohol policies will use them in disciplinary cases against individual workers. This new guide provides reps and negotiators with positive and effective examples of union action and intervention, using the law and good practice. It explains the law together with government guidance on drugs and alcohol at work and examines employers’ policies, especially around disciplinary procedures and testing, as well as looking at rehabilitation and support for affected workers.[More ...]

[cover image][64 pages] February 2017
Protecting workers from violence and abuse - a union rep's guide
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The UK has some of the highest levels of work-related violence in Europe and while the workers most at risk are those in contact with people from outside their organisation, violence and abuse can happen in any workplace. Union reps and safety reps have a key role to play in ensuring that employers provide suitable levels of protection for their workers. This LRD booklet provides practical guidance on how to prevent or reduce work-related violence and abuse, as well as giving advice on what action to take when it does occur. Crucially, it explains how reps can use the law to persuade employers to take action to prevent violence at work. This booklet also provides practical examples showing how unions and reps across a range of sectors and in a variety of workplaces have tackled workplace violence and abuse.[More ...]

[cover image][64 pages] October 2016
Stress and mental health at work - a guide for trade union reps
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Stress is one of the main factors causing work-related ill-health. A growing number of union reps are voicing their concerns as low pay, job insecurity, precarious forms of employment and huge job cuts have left many struggling to cope. Union reps and safety reps have a key role to play in ensuring that employers take their responsibilities for tackling work-related stress and mental health issues seriously. This booklet aims to provide reps with information, advice and guidance written from a trade union perspective, together with practical examples showing how unions and reps have tackled work-related stress across a range of industrial and service sectors and in a variety of workplaces.[More ...]

[cover image][63 pages] May 2012
Preventing injury at work - a union reps' guide to musculoskeletal disorders
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Back pain, RSI and other upper and lower limb disorders, known collectively as muskuloskeletal disorders (MSDs), continue to account for the highest number of injuries reported to the Health and Safety Executive. This booklet gives union reps and workers the information they need to ensure that employers take action to prevent MSDs, as well as how to support workers who may develop MSDs.[More ...]

[cover image][80 pages] April 2012
Safety, health and equality at work - a practical guide for trade unionists
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Union reps need to be aware of the connections between safety, health and equality to ensure equal access to health and safety at work for all workers. This booklet contains examples of model policies, checklists and information on other measures covering health and safety in relation to gender, black and minority ethnic (BME) and migrant workers, disabled and older and younger workers, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workers.[More ...]

[cover image][56 pages] April 2010
Hazardous substances - a guide for safety reps
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Millions of workers come into contact with hazardous substances in the workplace. This booklet gives examples of the kind of action being taken to tackle hazardous substances at work, and details the relevant health and safety law. It explains in a clear and concise way where hazardous substances can arise and how exposure can be prevented or controlled.[More ...]