Labour Research November 2015

Trade Union Bill - The Trade Union Bill represents one of the most aggressive attacks on unions in decades

Night work - Growing evidence points to the fact that night working has harmful effects. How are unions responding?

Apprenticeship levy - Unions and the TUC remain cautious over the government’s proposals for an apprenticeship levy

Workers on the board - What lessons can the UK learn from the European experience of board-level employee representation?


Construction firms finally admit blacklisting workers (398 words)

Some of Britain’s biggest construction firms may have to pay out tens of millions of pounds in damages after admitting that they defamed workers ...
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Firefighters lobby over cuts (237 words)

Last month, firefighters from around the country descended on Parliament to lobby Members of Parliament about the future of the fire and rescue ...
Open access

Industrial news (242 words)

The UCU lecturers’ and university staff union is balloting members at the Open University over plans to close down seven regional centres with the ...
Open access

Steel crisis: government must show its mettle, say unions (304 words)

Unions gave a mixed reaction to the support package to steel communities last month, when the government was forced to respond to the devastating ...
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Doctors fight exploitation (215 words)

The BMA doctors’ union is preparing to ballot junior doctors in England on industrial action in protest at health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s ...
Open access

Local justice under threat (239 words)

There is a serious risk to local access to justice posed by Ministry of Justice (MoJ) proposals to close nearly 20% of courts and tribunals across ...
Open access

Upward rise in joblessness halts (192 words)

The upward rise in unemployment has been halted. Under the Labour Force Survey count, unemployment fell by 79,000 to 1.77 million in the three months ...
Open access

Inflation down (74 words)

In September, the annual rate of inflation — as measured by the Retail Prices Index (RPI) — was down to 0.8% from 1.1% the previous month. ...
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (405 words)

Inflation +0.8% Average earnings +3.1% ...
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Union news

Social media constraints may be withdrawn from Bill (334 words)

The TUC has welcomed reports that ministers are to drop plans to make unions give the police advance notice of their use of social media during ...
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Councils’ stand is welcomed (337 words)

Trade unionists have welcomed the stand taken by Scottish local authorities who say they will refuse to implement the check-off and facility time ...
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Unite offers olive branch on balloting (220 words)

Len McCluskey, leader of the country’s largest union Unite, has offered prime minister David Cameron a “measure of agreement” on industrial ...
Open access

European news

European Union’s economic policies come under attack (269 words)

The four-yearly Congress of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has attacked the EU’s current economic and structural policies. In a ...
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Opposition extracts concessions (377 words)

Union opposition has forced the Finnish government to make some changes to the wage-cutting plans it announced in September. However, it still wants ...
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Air France-KLM (163 words)

The chief executive of Air France-KLM, Alexandre de Juniac, has said that it may be possible to avoid the airline’s planned restructuring — with ...
Open access

Volkswagen (89 words)

Detlef Wetzel, head of Germany’s IG Metall metalworking union, has said that workers at the car company Volkswagen should not pay the costs of the ...
Open access


Bill legitimises union-bashing (2,357 words)

The Conservatives’ Trade Union Bill is an attempt at undermining unions and silencing resistance to public sector cuts, as Labour Research reports. ...
Open access

Night work is harmful to health
 (2,108 words)

Despite mounting evidence of the harmful effects of working at night, the number of night workers is increasing. Labour Research looks at the latest ...
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Will levy boost apprenticeships? (1,714 words)

Introducing a Budget in July that was otherwise short on good news for young people, the chancellor announced plans for an apprenticeship levy. ...
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Employee representation: the lessons from Europe (1,497 words)

Board-level employee representation is found in a majority of EU Member States. But its operation varies markedly — and raises some questions ...
Open access

Law Matters

Did union association lead to victimisation?
 (257 words)

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held that a tribunal was wrong to strike out a claim of victimisation “by association”.
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Pension scheme ruling ‘a real disappointment’
 (357 words)

In a disappointing outcome, the Court of Appeal recently decided that a pension scheme was not obliged to make backdated payments to same-sex civil ...
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Favourable finding on caste discrimination
 (251 words)

There has been a promising development in case law addressing the issue of caste discrimination.
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Law Queries

Facility time (228 words)

Q. I’m a union official who’s been doing a lot of preparation work for collective bargaining meetings in the evenings after work. Can I claim ...
Open access

Length of service and redundancy criterion (295 words)

Q. My employer wants to use length of service as a redundancy criterion. I am a man in my twenties. Is it lawful to use length of service as a ...
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Reasonable adjustments (199 words)

I will be starting a new job soon. The job is office based. I am blind. Is my employer legally obliged to make any changes to the building and office? ...
Open access

Law Back-up

Duty may lend a helping hand in disciplinaries
 (900 words)

Back-up takes a look at the impact of the implied duty of trust and confidence on the conduct of disciplinary proceedings. 
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Health & Safety Matters

Government is placing green jobs in jeopardy
 (258 words)

Government “back-pedaling” on energy and climate policy is costing the UK jobs and investment, say unions. 
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Report spells out risks of occupational cancer
 (191 words)

Across the EU, occupational cancer kills 20 times more people than those who die in occupational accidents, according to a new publication by the ...
Open access

Bullied hotel workers
 (98 words)

The Unite general union has commissioned a powerful graphically-illustrated novel, Tale of two cities, which tells the story of bullied and exploited ...
Open access

Sellafield strike secures deal
 (148 words)

Construction workers involved in strike action at the nuclear decommissioning and renewal project at Sellafield say they have secured a ...
Open access

Health & Safety Back-up

Tackling exposure to diesel fumes at work
 (859 words)

The Volkswagen emissions test cheating scandal has put diesel engine exhaust emissions (commonly known as diesel fumes) into the spotlight. While the ...
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Equality news

Cautious welcome for grandparental leave
 (368 words)

The government’s announcement that it intends to extend shared parental leave (SPL) to grandparents from 2018, has received a guarded welcome from ...
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Flexible working lacks support, say teachers
 (256 words)

Nearly half of women teachers who have requested flexible working have had their request denied by their employer, a women’s conference organised ...
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Interviewers are prone to unconscious bias
 (251 words)

Jobseekers often face heavy and unconscious bias in the selection process, according to a new report by HR body the Chartered Institute of Personnel ...
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Workplace Back-up

Lords’ decision stalls tax credit cut plans
 (876 words)

Last month, the House of Lords defeated the government over its planned tax credit cuts. These were supposed to take effect from April next year. ...
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 (240 words)

Inside the labyrinth ...
Open access

On liberty
 (188 words)

Shami Chakrabarti, Penguin, 224 pages, £9.99 ...
Open access


e-views (393 words)

With the controversial Trade Union Bill currently making its way through Parliament (see pages 9-11), I thought I’d look how unions can use ...
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