Labour Research October 2016

Metro mayors - Mayoral elections in the new city-regions are an opportunity for unions to work with mayoral candidates and across civil society; Universities challenged - Critics say the government’s Higher Education Bill poses a serious threat to a university sector already under strain; All work and no pay - Nick Clark of the Unpaid Britain project reports on the all-too frequent phenomenon of non-payment of wages; Is health and safety safe? - What does Brexit mean for UK health and safety regulation?


May’s grammar school proposals condemned by teaching unions
 (391 words)

Unions have roundly condemned prime minister Theresa May’s plans for new grammar schools, accusing her of trying to return the country “to the ...
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Junior doctors’ action put on hold (271 words)

The BMA doctors’ union called off the junior doctors’ strike due to take place in England last month, but further strikes will go ahead unless ...
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Industrial news (276 words)

The CWU union, representing post office and supply chain staff, and Unite, representing managers, both took a day of strike action on 15 September in ...
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‘We will shine a light on you’, TUC warns greedy businesses
 (329 words)

“To any greedy business that treats its workers like animals — we will shine a light on you,” said TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady as ...
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Congress raises Brexit concerns (235 words)

There was intense concern at TUC Congress last month over what Brexit will mean for workers’ rights, with general secretary Frances O’Grady using ...
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ITV pensions
 (131 words)

ITV unions BECTU, the NUJ and Unite have reacted angrily to the TV channel’s plans to close its defined benefits pension scheme to future ...
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Listen to workers
 (121 words)

A report by research body the Smith Institute on the UK’s productivity challenge has emphasised the importance of listening to workers and trade ...
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Unemployment at eight-year low
 (211 words)

Under the Labour Force Survey (LFS) count, unemployment was down by 39,000 to 1.63 million in the three-month period ending July compared with the ...
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Fall for RPI inflation (70 words)

Inflation under the Retail Prices Index (RPI) — the measure favoured by union negotiators — was down to 1.8% in August from 1.9% the previous ...
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (406 words)

Inflation +1.8%, Average earnings +2.2% ...
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Union news

Broadcasting union backs merger
 (280 words)

Broadcasting and entertainment union BECTU will become part of professionals’ union Prospect at the start of next year, following an overwhelming ...
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TUC plan sets out priorities
 (241 words)

Responding to the Brexit vote and the Trade Union Act 2016 are the main planks of the TUC’s campaign priorities for the coming year. 
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Digital campaigning must be stepped up (256 words)

Delegates at last month’s Trades Union Congress agreed that unions’ capacity for digital campaigning and organising must be stepped up to enable ...
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Partnership on economy (117 words)

Trade unionists have been invited to work with local authorities, employers and educationalists in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull area on ...
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European news

Italian government plans to reinforce local bargaining
 (493 words)

The centre-left Italian government, led by Matteo Renzi, has again indicated that it wants to strengthen company bargaining at the expense of ...
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French unions continue to protest (200 words)

Two of France’s largest union confederations, the CGT and FO, plus some smaller confederations and youth groups, took to the streets last month as ...
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Poland proposes new labour code

 (145 words)

The Polish government, formed by the right-wing PiS party, plans to rewrite the country’s labour code, which covers both individual and collective ...
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Agency workers
 in Germany (97 words)

The number of agency workers in Germany reached a new record in 2015, with 961,000 employed in this way — around 50,000 more than the year before. ...
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Forging partnerships with the metro mayors
 (2,429 words)

Directly-elected mayors in metropolitan areas could see unions and Labour councils develop new models of working.
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Higher education: lower standards? (2,195 words)

Legislation enabling the entry of more for-profit providers in higher education seriously endangers academic quality, as Labour Research reports. ...
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When the boss won’t cough up (1,998 words)

Essential to any employment relationship is the employer’s duty to the worker to pay agreed wages and pay them on time. Yet in all too many cases, ...
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Will worker protection be safe in their hands?
 (1,791 words)

Following the Brexit vote in June’s referendum, will the Tories strip away occupational health and safety protections derived from EU laws?
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Law Matters

Termination payments: tax changes on horizon
 (273 words)

The government is set to make big changes to the taxation of termination payments. Having held an initial consultation earlier this year, a second ...
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Employment rights record under scrutiny
 (350 words)

The failure of the government to protect employment rights has been highlighted recently in a number of ways. 
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Victory against Lidl supermarket
 (247 words)

The GMB general union has achieved a significant legal victory against German supermarket Lidl, securing workers the right to have the GMB negotiate ...
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Law Queries

Drugs testing (278 words)

Q. Are employers allowed to subject employees to drugs testing? ...
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Dismissal during probation (215 words)

Q. What options does an employee have if they are dismissed during their probation period of a few months? ...
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Sexual harassment (297 words)

Q. How can we help women who are being sexually harassed at work? ...
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Law Back-up

How will Brexit impact on human rights legislation? 
 (947 words)

The result of the EU referendum in June has created uncertainty in many areas of the law. In this month’s Back-up, we take a look at some of the ...
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Correction - Law Backup (September 2016) (52 words)

In our Law Back-up item on whistleblowing in our September 2016 issue, we referred to the Royal Mail Group v Jhuti case as a Court of Appeal case ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Higher injury rate for sports direct workers
 (257 words)

Sports Direct’s warehouse staff have an injury rate nearly three times that of agriculture — one of the most dangerous sectors for workers — ...
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Union highlights hotels’ “unethical” practices
 (283 words)

The Unite general union says that global hotel chains stand accused by their own workforce of making London one of the most “unethical” tourist ...
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One in eight too ill to work till pension age
 (249 words)

Around one in eight (12%) workers are forced to stop working before state pension age (SPA) because they are too ill or disabled, says new research ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

All ages need to have healthy workplaces
 (864 words)

“Healthy Workplaces for All Ages” is the theme of this year’s European Week of Health and Safety which runs from 24 to 30 October. Organised by ...
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Equality news

Difficult climate for equality bargaining
 (360 words)

Almost a third of unions believe that employers’ equality policies, or their implementation, have been diluted in the last two years, according to ...
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EHRC finds divided britain
 (289 words)

Widespread inequality risks increasing racial tensions, warns the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). The statement is based on the biggest ...
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Women less likely to be promoted
 (398 words)

Men are 40% more likely than women to be promoted in management roles, according to joint research by the Chartered Management Institute and pay ...
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Workplace Back-up

UK women’s work and pay damaged by motherhood
 (893 words)

A new report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) shows that 12 years after the birth of her first child, a woman can expect to earn 33% less ...
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Facing the anthropocene (314 words)

Fossil capitalism and the crisis of the earth system ...
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e-views (579 words)

Union membership details are rightly deemed highly sensitive and an area requiring privacy. If you work with such data, you need to be aware of some ...
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