Labour Research April 2016

Warfare on welfare - The Tories’ “welfare revolution” seeks to build on the previous coalition administration’s welfare cuts; Precarious work - TUC race equality officer Wilf Sullivan looks at the impact of labour market casualisation on BME workers; Pensions uncertainty - The norms of retirement income are being swept away. Labour Research looks at what this means; House of cards - Social housing as we know it is in danger of disappearing completely if the government has its way


Government must ‘think again’ on anti-union Bill, says O’Grady
 (309 words)

The government was told to think again after the House of Lords inflicted a triple blow to the government’s controversial Trade Union Bill.
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Divisive Budget blasted by unions
 (351 words)

Unions have slammed the chancellor’s divisive Budget and have called on George Osborne to accept that his plan is failing on productivity and ...
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Industrial news (274 words)

The NUT teachers’ union took a day of strike action in sixth form colleges on 15 March, a day after a High Court decision rejecting the ...
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Osborne’s academy proposals are ‘an attempt to distract the public’
 (339 words)

Chancellor George Osborne’s plan to turn all schools into academies has outraged unions. 
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Job cuts at energy firm decried
 (186 words)

News that energy firm npower is to cut 2,400 jobs in the UK by 2018 has been described as a “bitter blow” by energy unions. The job losses come ...
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Pension age hike slammed (257 words)

Unions have condemned the prospect of a rise in the state pension age which will see workers not retiring from work until their mid-70s. 
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Unemployment continues to fall
 (204 words)

Unemployment fell at the start of the 2016 — by 28,000 to 1.69 million in the three months to January. That fall cut the unemployment rate to 5.1% ...
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Average earnings (81 words)

The table below shows the rise in average weekly earnings (AWE) as published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The ONS also produces data ...
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (410 words)

Inflation +1.3%,Average earnings +2.5% ...
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Union news

UK unions begin to take up positions on EU referendum
 (323 words)

A senior union official at BMW has welcomed the car giant’s unusual intervention in the EU referendum debate through direct contact with its 8,000 ...
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Radiographers vote to set up fund 
 (164 words)

Just when the government is trying to stifle unions’ political voice, members of the Society of Radiographers (SoR) have voted to set up a ...
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Building union investigates merger
 (143 words)

The 60,000-member construction union UCATT is considering a merger, the union has confirmed. 
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Leadership change for airline pilots (210 words)

Airline pilots’ union BALPA will have a new general secretary from 1 June, when Brian Strutton takes over from Jim McAuslan who is standing down ...
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European news

Plan on ‘posted’ workers receives partial welcome (446 words)

The European Commission has fulfilled one of the promises it made when it was appointed in 2014 and proposed new rules for the treatment of ...
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French opposition to code continues
 (207 words)

French unions are stepping up their opposition to changes to the labour code being put forward by the government led by president François ...
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Deal is reluctantly agreed in Finland (233 words)

Finnish unions have reached an agreement with the employers which involves a 12-month pay freeze, higher employee contributions towards pensions and ...
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Tories lash out at the low paid
 (1,953 words)

This month will see further freezes and cuts to state benefits and tax credits as the Tories’ latest welfare reforms begin to take effect.
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Casualisation hits ethnic minorities
 (1,598 words)

Growing labour market casualisation is having a disproportionate impact on BME workers, writes TUC race equality officer Wilf Sullivan. 
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Can these changes deliver?
 (1,962 words)

Is the UK’s complex and evolving system of state and workplace pensions capable of providing what people need by way of a retirement income? Labour ...
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Government plans persist in avoiding home truths
 (1,736 words)

Affordable social housing is becoming an ever more distant dream for many, thanks to Conservative plans.
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Law Matters

Ruling on holiday pay and commission hailed 
 (362 words)

In a long-running legal battle, public service union UNISON has successfully established that when taking holiday, workers should be paid their ...
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Fees appeal is granted
 (320 words)

In an important development in public service union UNISON’s marathon battle against employment tribunal fees, the Supreme Court has granted ...
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Law round-up (239 words)

n From 6 April 2016, a “week’s pay” for calculating the unfair dismissal basic award and statutory redundancy payment is a maximum of £479 ...
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Law Queries

Contracts of employment (279 words)

Q. An employer is refusing to provide a written contract of employment for some of our members. Are they legally entitled to this? ...
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Dyslexic employees and the Equality Act 2010
 (206 words)

Q. Are all dyslexic employees covered by the Equality Act 2010?
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Young workers and time off (214 words)

Q. Do young workers, aged around 17, have special rights to time off and rest breaks? ...
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Law Back-up

Do zero hours contract changes go far enough?
 (893 words)

The term “zero hours contract” is used to describe a contract under which an employer does not give any guarantee of number of hours work. Recent ...
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Health & Safety Matters

TUC says that brexit may endanger rights
 (262 words)

No one can say what will happen to employment rights, including those relating to health and safety, if the UK votes to leave the European Union, ...
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Research reveals union reps’ cost-effectiveness
 (274 words)

The TUC has published two studies showing how trade union reps save money. 
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Call for action over health of NHS staff (177 words)

Health unions have called for action to improve the health of NHS staff after the latest annual survey of almost 300,000 NHS workers showed that over ...
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Vicarious liability
 (79 words)

The cases of Cox v Ministry of Justice [2016] UKSC 10 and Mr A M Mohamud (in substitution for Mr A Mohamud, deceased) v WM Morrison Supermarkets plc ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Remember the dead — fight for the living!
 (813 words)

“Every year more people are killed at work than in wars,” says the TUC. “Most don’t die of mystery ailments, or in tragic ‘accidents’. ...
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Equality news

Younger mums hit by ‘motherhood penalty’
 (391 words)

Women who become mothers before they turn 33 suffer a 15% pay penalty compared to similar women who haven’t had children, says the TUC in a new ...
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Senior civil servants remain london-bound
 (270 words)

The civil service must do more to tackle under-representation and pay gaps, the PCS civil service union said in response to government figures ...
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Minority Scots
 (138 words)

Scottish people from ethnic minority backgrounds still face discrimination at work, according to a report by the Scottish Parliament’s Equal ...
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BAME trans people
 (104 words)

The UK now has its first guide on how to support the black and minority ethnic (BAME) trans population in Britain. 
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Workplace Back-up

Will ‘National Living Wage’ end poverty pay?
 (903 words)

A new compulsory minimum wage rate came into effect on 1 April. It was announced in July 2015 by chancellor George Osborne who referred to it as the ...
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Wage bargaining under the new European economic governance (205 words)

Alternative strategies for inclusive growth ...
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Bob Marley (208 words)

Roots, reggae & revolution ...
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News from LRD

LRD AGM - speaker Roger McKenzie (Unison) (102 words)

The Labour Research Department (LRD) annual general meeting will take place on Monday 16 May from 2.00pm at Jerwood Space, Union Street, London SE1 ...
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