Labour Research May 2015

Workers’ rights under siege - In its five-year tenure, the coalition has waged a relentless attack on employment protections

What’s the alternative? - What do unions want from a Labour government in relation to workers’ individual and collective rights - and what’s Labour proposing?

Disabled people hammered - Austerity policies have hit millions - and disabled people are among those hardest hit

The youth vote - Are young voters likely to make their voices heard in this month’s election? And what issues concern them?


Former health service chief warns of ‘financial hole’ in NHS (371 words)

The former head of NHS England has spoken of a “financial hole” in the NHS amid warnings of industrial action from health union UNISON over the ...
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UKIP slammed over NMW remarks (227 words)

The TUC responded angrily to comments made by UKIP leader Nigel Farage last month that he opposes an increase in the National Minimum Wage (NMW) on ...
Open access

Industrial news (278 words)

Steel unions Community, Unite, GMB and UCATT have announced that they will be balloting for industrial action this month at Tata Steel. ...
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Tory tax ‘con’ prioritises top earners while low-paid lose out (318 words)

Tory tax cuts are worth 10 times more to high earners than basic earners, a TUC-commissioned analysis has revealed. The Conservative Party manifesto ...
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Labour will root out exploitation (196 words)

Construction union UCATT has welcomed the Labour Party’s commitment that it will introduce measures to crack down on the exploitation of migrant ...
Open access

Election journalism (230 words)

The NUJ journalists’ union has been contacting the major parties to seek assurances that journalists will be granted fair access to events. ...
Open access

Reform of sanctions regime urged (206 words)

The TUC campaign, Saving our safety net, is calling on the incoming government to reform the benefits sanctions regime. ...
Open access

Inflation down (72 words)

In March, the annual rate of inflation — as measured by the Retail Prices Index (RPI) — continued its slowdown and was down to 0.9% from 1.0% the ...
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (405 words)

Inflation +0.9% Average Earnings +1.3% ...
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Union news

Prospect of significant teaching union merger edges forward (320 words)

The prospect of a significant trade union merger in the education sector has moved a step closer, with unusually close working taking place between ...
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Shock result sees new leader at communication workers’ union (88 words)

In a shock result, Billy Hayes, long-standing general secretary of the CWU communications union, has lost his bid to lead the union for a fourth term. ...
Open access

UCATT general secretary (36 words)

Construction union UCATT has announced that general secretary Steve Murphy is on sick leave. ...
Open access

Volunteering: unions need not apply (139 words)

The Conservatives last month announced that, under a Tory government, workers in firms with over 250 staff would be entitled to three days’ paid ...
Open access

E-balloting (108 words)

The TUC and the Lib Dems have agreed to work towards unions being able to ballot their members electronically. This follows a Lib Dem pledge to ...
Open access

Union election app (144 words)

Public services union UNISON has launched a light-hearted web app to encourage voters to engage with the 2015 general election campaign. ...
Open access

European news

Unions join calls to reverse cuts to search and rescue operations (343 words)

European and international trade unions last month joined the growing global clamour for EU leaders to take urgent action to address the escalating ...
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France hit by industrial action in the air and on the airwaves (296 words)

France was hit by industrial action by air traffic controllers and at its main public radio broadcaster last month. ...
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Irish public sector pay cuts may end (157 words)

Richard Bruton, the Irish minister for jobs and enterprise, has held out the possibility that public sector workers may see a restoration of the pay ...
Open access

Social coalition (117 words)

The leader of the Italian FIOM metalworkers’ union, Maurizio Landini, has launched a plan for a new “social coalition” bringing together unions ...
Open access


Coalition lays down the law (2,229 words)

The UK already had some of the most lenient employment protections in the world before the coalition embarked on further restricting them. ...
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A different legal framework (2,154 words)

Labour Research looks at unions’ alternative vision for employment law after the election, and at what Labour’s manifesto has to offer trade ...
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Disabled people hit by multiple cuts (1,604 words)

Five years of government austerity policies have produced misery for many disabled people, as Labour Research reports. ...
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What’s in the election for Generation Y? (1,576 words)

What are the issues that are likely to influence whether, and how, young people vote in this month’s general election? ...
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Law Matters

Ruling limits effect of ‘public interest’ test (261 words)

A welcome ruling from the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has limited the effect of the new “public interest” test in whistleblowing claims ...
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Agency workers lack awareness about rights (362 words)

New analysis by the Acas employment advisory service of calls to its helpline has revealed very low awareness among agency workers of their rights ...
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Whistle-blowing protection is extended (219 words)

On 5 April 2015, following campaigning by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), whistleblowing protection was finally extended to cover student nurses ...
Open access

Law Queries

Recognition and redundancy (200 words)

Q. Our employer is carrying out collective redundancies. Our union is recognised for some, but not all, of the affected employees. Our employer is ...
Open access

Restructuring (303 words)

Q. Our employer is restructuring and we’re in a redundancy consultation process. The employer has created new jobs for which we all have to apply. ...
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Variation of part-time hours (221 words)

Q. I am a part-time worker and under my contract I work Tuesdays and Thursdays. My employer wants me to spread my hours over four mornings. I cannot ...
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Law Back-up

What changes are on the horizon for workplaces? (866 words)

Two final pieces of employment-focused legislation were rushed onto the statute books just before Parliament was dissolved for the general election ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Compensation scheme an ‘act of bad faith’ (243 words)

The Construction Workers Compensation Scheme, launched by eight of the 30 companies involved in blacklisting, has been criticised as an “act of bad ...
Open access

New initiative will promote safety of media personnel (210 words)

The Council of Europe (CoE) has launched an initiative designed to promote the safety of journalists and other media personnel and the protection of ...
Open access

Teachers face work-related pressures (236 words)

Just over two-thirds of teachers (67%) say their job has adversely affected their mental health in the last 12 months. ...
Open access

Health & Safety Back-up

Dealing with harmful dusts in the workplace (902 words)

Some 13,000 people die each year from occupational lung disease and cancer, estimated to have been caused by past exposure primarily to chemicals and ...
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Equality news

Poorest areas receive largest funding cuts (371 words)

The most deprived areas of England have seen the largest cuts in funding since 2010, according to an analysis of local government expenditure data by ...
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Gay job applicants less likely to get interview (251 words)

Gay and lesbian jobseekers are 5% less likely to be offered a job interview than heterosexual applicants with comparable skills and experience, says ...
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Warning over Sure Start centres (229 words)

The Labour party has warned that more than 1,000 Sure Start children’s centres could close if the Conservatives return to power after the general ...
Open access

Workplace Back-up

Apprenticeships: what is on Labour’s agenda? (846 words)

Ahead of this month’s general election, the Labour Party is laying out its policies on a range of key issues and, as all the parties vie to get ...
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Rebel footprints (233 words)

A guide to uncovering London’s radical history ...
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Empire of cotton (203 words)

A global history ...
Open access


e-views (398 words)

What effect will social media have on the outcome of the general election? ...
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