Labour Research July 2014

Child protection services - Child protection services continue to face problems, despite the government’s recent U-turn over outsourcing these services

Health and safety - The Health and Safety at Work Act is 40 years old, but government policy threatens its legacy

Signalling a change? - Unions say that a new approach to running the railways is required

Migration myths - Are popular perceptions that migration drives up unemployment backed by research?


Tribunal claims plummet since introduction of fees (412 words)

The number of employment tribunal claims being made has fallen significantly since the introduction of tribunal fees last year, new government ...
Subscribers only

Unions speak up for justice (276 words)

The increasing scale of private sector involvement in the justice system has been highlighted in a new report, Justice for sale, commissioned by the ...
Subscribers only

Part timers exploited (242 words)

Exploitation of part-time workers in local government and schools is increasing as a result of government cuts, a survey by the UNISON public ...
Open access

NHS executive pay bill soars while staff endure pay freeze (312 words)

The pay of senior managers in the NHS has accelerated in the last two years, while nurses’ pay has fallen further behind increases in the cost of ...
Subscribers only

Fairer taxation supported (232 words)

Support for a fairer tax system in the UK is overwhelming, according to a poll conducted for the Equality Trust think tank. However, contrary to ...
Open access

Deal secures pensions (243 words)

A settlement worth several million pounds has been secured for former Visteon workers who lost part of their pensions after the company went into ...
Open access

Joblessness falls — as do earnings (218 words)

Unemployment, under the Labour Force Survey count, fell by 161,000 to 2.17 million in the three-month period ending April compared with the previous ...
Open access

Inflation down (80 words)

Lower air fares and a fall in food prices helped push inflation down on both main measures in May. The annual rate of inflation — as measured by ...
Open access

Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (403 words)

Inflation +2.4%, Average earnings -1.7% ...
Subscribers only

Union news

Trade union membership holds up in face of austerity (484 words)

An increase in union membership in the transportation and storage industry was the main contributor to the stable union membership statistics ...
Subscribers only

Police Federation (112 words)

Newly-elected chair of the Police Federation Steve White says the federation would have endorsed the independent review into the scandal-hit ...
Open access

Procurement (76 words)

New rules for public procurement mean that union recognition by contractors can be taken into consideration by the Scottish government when ...
Open access

Keates re-elected (26 words)

Chris Keates has been re-elected unopposed as general secretary of the 294,000-strong NASUWT teachers’ union. It will be her third term of office. ...
Open access

European news

Another Amazon site hit by strike action over staff pay and conditions (399 words)

German services union Ver.di has called out its members at a fourth Amazon distribution centre in its attempt to get the US online company to pay ...
Subscribers only

Portuguese cuts again ruled unconstitutional (341 words)

For the sixth time in two years, Portugal’s highest court has ruled that government spending cuts aimed at reducing the budget deficit are ...
Subscribers only

Thousands face job losses at airline (110 words)

Etihad, the Abu Dhabi airline, is set to buy 49% of the Italian carrier Alitalia. However, 2,251 of the Italian company’s staff of around 14,000 ...
Open access


At risk: child protection (2,106 words)

The government may have had to modify its plans on the outsourcing of child protection services, but the services continue to face real problems. ...
Subscribers only

Health and safety threatened (2,111 words)

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 will be 40 this month. Labour Research looks at its achievements, at the government’s attack on the ...
Subscribers only

New model for railways needed (1,664 words)

Unions and others are calling for a new, publicly-owned model for the UK’s railways to replace the current fragmented and costly system. ...
Subscribers only

Challenging the myths around migrant workers (1,560 words)

What is the actual impact of migration on UK employment and the UK workforce? Labour Research investigates. ...
Open access

Law Matters

Victory in holiday pay and commission case (376 words)

Public services union UNISON has won a landmark ruling from the European Court of Justice confirming that holiday pay must include commission. ...
Subscribers only

New flexible working rules set for operation (245 words)

The flexible working rules were due to change on 30 June 2014 (see Labour Research, May 2014, page 25). From that date, the right to request flexible ...
Open access

Trade union law firm launched (245 words)

A new law firm, UNIONLINE, has been jointly launched by the GMB general union and the CWU communication workers’ union to provide legal services to ...
Open access

Law Queries

Right to be paid (347 words)

Q. My employer didn’t pay me last month because he says that he’s having financial problems. What can I do to get my money back? ...
Subscribers only

Using holiday entitlement (284 words)

Q. My employer has decided to close the business for two weeks over summer for the first time. They want me and my colleagues to use our holiday ...
Subscribers only

E-cigarettes at work (144 words)

Q. My employer frowns on the use of e-cigarettes during break times. Is it illegal to use them at work? ...
Open access

Law Back-up

Naming and shaming the minimum wage cheats (899 words)

This month’s Back-up looks at developments in National Minimum Wage (NMW) enforcement, following the release of the figures for 2013-14 enforcement ...
Subscribers only

Health & Safety Matters

Framework on health and safety is ‘weak’ (299 words)

The European Commission’s new strategy for occupational health and safety has been criticised as “weak and insubstantial” by the European Trade ...
Subscribers only

Many don’t use up leave (235 words)

Just over half of employees in a poll undertaken for the CSP physiotherapists’ union said they ended their year with leave left to take. ...
Open access

Heroism bill greeted with scepticism (265 words)

The government announced a new Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism (SARAH) Bill in the Queen’s Speech last month. ...
Subscribers only

Health & Safety Back-up

How to assess the risks of working at height (792 words)

Working at height remains one of the biggest causes of occupational death and injury, with common cases involving falls from ladders or through ...
Subscribers only

Equality news

More admit to being racially prejudiced (365 words)

Racism in Britain is on the rise again, according to recently-released data on “self-reporting” of prejudice. ...
Subscribers only

Equality takes a step back as pay gap widens (272 words)

The gender pay gap has increased by 0.6% in the UK since the Conservative-led government came to power, analysis from the House of Commons library ...
Subscribers only

Claimants suffer hardship (242 words)

Urgent government action is needed to address problems in the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) system, according to the campaigning charity, ...
Open access

Workplace Back-up

Address vocational education, says report (757 words)

A new study from centre-left think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) examines the skills required for the UK economy in the future. ...
Subscribers only


Eleanor Marx (229 words)

A Life ...
Open access

Notoriously militant (233 words)

The story of a union branch at Ford Dagenham ...
Open access

e-views (422 words)

Every year I look at a number of key industry metrics to see how TUC-affiliated unions’ websites rank against each other. I compile the results in ...
Subscribers only