Labour Research June 2014

Bogus self-employment - The spread of false self-employment is a means by which yet more workers are denied employment rights

Privatising probation - Unions say that the successful rehabilitation of offenders is at risk, thanks to probation service “reforms”

Income distribution - Wages are still increasing at a slower pace than inflation, eroding living standards and inhibiting economic growth

Battle of Orgreave - Trade unionists are this month marking the 30th anniversary of the Battle of Orgreave


TUC and miners call for state aid to save coalmining (378 words)

State aid could secure a future for UK coal mining and save taxpayers money, according to a new report commissioned by the TUC and the NUM ...
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Zero hours workers feel excluded (285 words)

Many workers on zero hours contracts feel excluded from the sense of security, fairness and trust that is associated with permanent contracts of ...
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Council employees may strike (236 words)

The three unions representing 1.6 million workers employed by local authorities are moving closer to industrial action over a 1% pay offer from the ...
Open access

Global workforce says that system favours the wealthy (280 words)

Workers across the world believe their governments are in hock to corporate interests. And there is strong global support for an active trade union ...
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Further education offer rejected (257 words)

The lecturers’ University and College Union (UCU) has rejected a 0.7% pay offer for members in further education colleges and asked employers to ...
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Labour plans for NMW (249 words)

A link between the National Minimum Wage rate and median earnings will be established under a Labour government, Labour leader Ed Miliband has ...
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Joblessness count posts a fall (214 words)

Under the Labour Force Survey count, unemployment fell by 133,000 to 2.21 million in first quarter of 2014 compared with the final quarter of last ...
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Inflation unchanged (73 words)

The annual rate of inflation as measured by the Retail Prices Index was unchanged at 2.5% in April. Food prices provided a downward effect on the ...
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (403 words)

Inflation +2.5%, Average earnings +1.5% ...
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Union news

Civil service union proceeds cautiously towards merger (290 words)

The PCS civil service union will continue having merger talks with the Unite general union, but on a more cautious basis than the leadership had ...
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Retention of political funds gets go-ahead (226 words)

Members of two unions overwhelmingly backed their political funds in recently concluded ballots. ...
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New teachers’ body established (102 words)

The non-TUC-affiliated National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) is adding to the crowded teachers’ union market by establishing an organisation ...
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Co-op Bank union (61 words)

The reforms to the governance of the Co-operative Group agreed last month were welcomed by the Usdaw retail and Unite general unions, both of whom ...
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24/7 helpline (107 words)

Shopworkers’ union Usdaw is to launch an out-of-hours helpline so members can get advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week. ...
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Workplace mediators (73 words)

The CWU communications union is working with Royal Mail to improve industrial relations by recruiting members to be workplace mediators. ...
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European news

Irish workers gain new rights — but no statutory bargaining (296 words)

The Irish government has agreed to introduce new legislation intended to protect workers where the employer refuses to negotiate with the unions. ...
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Portugese bailout ends but attacks continue (350 words)

The Portuguese government says it will no longer seek financial support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and EU institutions. ...
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UK fails to block tax proposals (121 words)

The European Court of Justice has rejected an attempt by the UK government to block the financial transaction tax (FTT), which will impose a levy on ...
Open access

Polish retirement age increase (134 words)

The Polish constitutional court has ruled that an increase in the retirement age from 65 to 67 for men and from 60 to 67 for women is in line with ...
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The rising scandal of false self-employment (1,990 words)

Bogus self-employment has long blighted the building industry. However, the problem has now spread far beyond the construction sector. ...
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Probation service up for grabs (2,214 words)

What impact will the part-privatisation of the probation service have on those who work in the service and on public safety? ...
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Lower wages = higher growth? (1,428 words)

Wages as a share of national income continue to be eroded in favour of capital, inhibiting economic growth, explains Özlem Onaran. ...
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Remembering Orgreave (1,756 words)

Trade unionists this month mark the 30th anniversary of the Battle of Orgreave, the bloody clash between police and miners during the 1984-85 ...
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Law Matters

Early conciliation: how to make an application (350 words)

Early conciliation by the Acas employment advisory and conciliation service became a mandatory first step in employment tribunal claims from 6 May 201 ...
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Careworker secures win over minimum wage pay (266 words)

A careworker required to sleep overnight at the care home where she worked has been awarded more than £15,000 compensation for her employer’s ...
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Tories’ balloting proposals (250 words)

None of the current batch of MPs would have been returned to Parliament if the election threshold had been the same as the one now being put forward ...
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Law Queries

Suspension from work (435 words)

Q. I have been suspended from work after an argument at work with my colleague. My colleague provoked me, but we are both suspended. I didn’t do ...
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Managing diabetes at work (305 words)

Q. I do shift work and have been struggling to focus at work because of problems with my diabetes. I want to ask my employer to change my break times ...
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Law Back-up

Zero hours proposals receive cool response (969 words)

While the UK’s rising use of zero hours contracts is leading to increasing financial insecurity, unions have given a less than enthusiastic ...
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Health & Safety Matters

European working conditions revealed (314 words)

Over half of European workers (57%) say their working conditions have deteriorated in the past five years compared to only 53% who consider the ...
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Mapping pinpoints stress (140 words)

Stress was revealed as the number one health and safety issue for NHS members of the public services union UNISON, according to a “body mapping” ...
Open access

One third of workers suffer from depression, stress or burn out (59 words)

A recent survey of 1,200 people across the UK by the mental health charity, the Depression Alliance, showed that a third of people struggle to cope ...
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Union warns on blacklisting (194 words)

In the wake of the Scottish Affairs Committee’s recent second report on blacklisting, general union Unite has warned that the government has failed ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Safer driving at work needs higher priority (858 words)

More than a quarter of all road traffic accidents involve someone driving for work at the time, according to the recently-revised guidance Driving at ...
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Equality news

Unemployment rates higher for BME people (393 words)

All black and minority ethnic (BME) communities in the UK exhibit lower economic activity rates and higher unemployment than the white population. ...
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Women endure gender pay gap into retirement (231 words)

The gender pay divide that women experience at work continues into retirement, with the average retired woman’s income 40% that of the average ...
Open access

Scotland launches Independent Living Fund (254 words)

The Scottish government has announced that a new Scottish Independent Living Fund (SILF) for disabled people is to be introduced next year, following ...
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Workplace Back-up

Bereavement: what are your rights at work? (796 words)

In the absence of any statutory rights for bereavement leave and other forms of compassionate leave, this aspect of employee relations is viewed as a ...
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Capital in the twenty-first century (213 words)

Thomas Piketty, Harvard University Press, 640 pages, hardcover, £29.95 ...
Open access

Not our war (243 words)

Writings against the First World War ...
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e-views (377 words)

I’ve been working on a new website offering career guidance with a trade union angle. The website — Careersmart — has just been launched by ...
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News from LRD

Labour Research Department AGM (188 words)

The endless stream of pension changes topped the agenda at the Labour Research Department’s annual general meeting (AGM) on 19 May in a ...
Open access