Labour Research June 2016

Bremain or Brexit? - A new Labour Research survey finds out what stances unions are taking in relation to the referendum on whether to remain in, or leave, Europe - and why

EU and workers’ rights - Unions fear a potentially damaging impact on UK workers’ rights in the event of a Brexit. So what difference has EU legislation made to UK employment law?

Asylum from homophobia - Campaigns supporting the rights of LGBT asylum seekers in the UK, as well as global LGBT rights, continue to be backed by UK unions


Prison officers urge caution over reforms at centre of Conservatives’ legislative plans
 (429 words)

Prison reforms were among measures announced in the Queen’s Speech on 18 May setting out the government’s legislative programme. 
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Junior doctors consider deal while lecturers back strike action over pay
 (332 words)

The prospect of further industrial action by junior doctors receded last month, following negotiations over a new contract. 
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Tributes paid to Ken Cameron
 (194 words)

The FBU firefighters’ union, the TUC and other trade unionists paid tribute last month to Ken Cameron, former FBU general secretary and TUC general ...
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Industrial action will have to be ‘smarter’ (163 words)

The fact that the Trade Union Act doesn’t contain quite as many “spiteful” anti-union measures as first proposed (see pages 7 and 25) betrays ...
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Joblessness down on both counts
 (197 words)

Unemployment fell on both of the main counts, latest official figures show. 
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Inflation falls (82 words)

In April, the main inflation measures were down, Office for National Statistics figures show. The main causes were falls in the prices of air fares, ...
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (410 words)

Inflation +1.3%, Average earnings +1.9% ...
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Union news

Anti-union law remains a threat despite concessions
 (614 words)

The Trade Union Bill, which received royal assent last month, “remains a serious threat to good industrial relations,” despite some forced ...
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Stanistreet re-elected
 (135 words)

The NUJ journalists’ union has re-elected Michelle Stanistreet as general secretary after her candidacy was unopposed.
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SERTUC publication
 (75 words)

Union activists and officers are urged to ensure that their defence of public services and the trade union movement is “inclusive and ...
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European news

Agreement in Germany, but little progress made in Italy
 (472 words)

Two of Europe’s most important bargaining groups seem to be moving in different directions as a result of key developments last month. While German ...
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French workers oppose changes
 (197 words)

The French government seems determined to push through major changes in employment law despite widespread opposition. It is using an exceptional (but ...
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Lithuanian labour code passes new stage
 (129 words)

The proposed new labour code in Lithuania, which will make it easier and cheaper to dismiss workers as well as introducing a range of other changes, ...
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Plans for posted workers threatened
 (102 words)

The European Commission’s plans to revise the Posted Workers Directive, covering workers who have a contract with an employer in one EU member ...
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Should I stay or should I go?
 (3,102 words)

What positions are UK unions adopting in relation to this month’s historic referendum on whether Britain should remain in, or leave, the EU?
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Unions gauge impact of a Brexit on our rights
 (2,491 words)

Unions are concerned that what they see as the protective shield for workers’ rights provided by the EU may be lost in the event of a Brexit.
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Supporting global LGBT rights
 (2,137 words)

As delegates prepare to gather for this month’s TUC LGBT conference, Labour Research looks at how unions are backing some of the organisations ...
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Law Matters

Sickness absence ruling ‘an important victory’
 (290 words)

A victory has been secured in the Court of Appeal by three unions fighting to stop the Department for Transport (DfT) from imposing harsher sickness ...
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Doubts raised over bill
 (353 words)

The House of Lords EU Justice Committee has published a report looking at the government’s proposal to introduce a British Bill of Rights to ...
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Law round-up (239 words)

n On 4 May 2016, the Trade Union Bill received royal assent and is now the Trade Union Act. See pages 7 and 25 for full details.
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Law Queries

Suspension and wages
 (356 words)

Q. Are employees who have been suspended as part of a disciplinary process entitled to their usual wages? ...
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Acas codes of practice (131 words)

Q. Do employers have to comply with Acas codes of practice? ...
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Payment in lieu of notice (265 words)

Q. Should a payment in lieu of notice (PILON) include additional benefits, not just basic salary? ...
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Law Back-up

Privacy in the workplace: what rights do you have?
 (948 words)

In this month’s Back-Up we look at privacy protection under data protection legislation and the right to privacy under the European Convention of ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Wave of unrest over health and safety
 (324 words)

Unions have reported a wave of walkouts, strikes and ballots for industrial action over health and safety issues in recent weeks. 
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Unions point to deaths on workers’ memorial day
 (211 words)

The deaths of two workers on Workers’ Memorial Day (WMD) are a poignant reminder of the dangers workers continue to face, say unions. 
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TUC warns of excessive hours risk (277 words)

The TUC has published a new analysis showing that a million more employees are at high risk of being forced to work excessive hours if the UK votes ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Unions pay tribute to Hillsborough families
 (862 words)

Trade unions have paid tribute to the families of the 96 Liverpool football fans who died in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, after their long ...
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Equality news

More support needed for older workers
 (334 words)

Employers need to step up support to retain valuable older workers and working carers, says new research released by the Chartered Institute of ...
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Parenthood and wage inequality highlighted
 (306 words)

Fathers working full time get paid a fifth more than men with similar jobs who don’t have children, reveals a new TUC report. 
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Disabled workers
 (140 words)

The government is “years behind schedule” in delivering its manifesto commitment to halve the employment gap between disabled and non-disabled ...
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Social mobility
 (109 words)

Despite only 7% of students attending private schools, almost a third of MPs in the 2015 intake were independently educated. 
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Workplace Back-up

Act gives go-ahead to clampdown on unions
 (947 words)

The Trade Union Act 2016 (TUA16) received royal assent on 4 May 2016. Campaigners secured important victories, with government climbdowns on ...
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The song of the shirt
 (210 words)

The high price of cheap garments, from Blackburn to Bangladesh ...
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Power games
 (236 words)

A political history of the Olympics ...
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e-views (389 words)

One of the latest projects I’ve been involved with has recently gone live: Prospect, the professionals’ union, has just launched their new ...
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News from LRD

LRD executive committee (69 words)

Members of the 2016-17 LRD executive committee (and nominating organisations)
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