Labour Research November 2016

Schooling for division? - far from improving social mobility as prime minister Theresa May claims, an expansion of grammar schools would see a return to a system of educational segregation; Legal rights - and wrongs - since June’s referendum vote to leave the EU, workplace and union rights have been of greater than ever concern to UK unions; Post Office countered? - government plans to franchise out more Crown post offices will simply further add to the crisis engulfing the Post Office, say unions


Teachers’ lives blighted by long hours and excessive workload
 (390 words)

Some teachers in England regularly work 60 hours or more a week, says a report into teacher workload by the Education Policy Institute (EPI), ...
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Brexit endangers car manufacturing
 (267 words)

The future of British car manufacturing is riding on whether or not the UK retains access to the single market, general union Unite has warned. 
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Industrial news (256 words)

The RMT transport union took strike action again in October in its long-running dispute with Southern Trains over Govia Thameslink’s plans to ...
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New unit will investigate firms using self-employed or agency workers
 (339 words)

HM Revenue and Customs has set up a specialist unit to look at companies that use large numbers of self-employed or agency workers. One of the first ...
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Warning over prison contracts
 (177 words)

Probation union Napo has called on the government to rescind probation contracts awarded to private companies. 
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Exit payments
 (137 words)

The government’s cap on public sector exit payments will hit middle earners, not just the highly paid, public sector union UNISON has warned. 
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Foreign doctors
 (120 words)

The doctors’ BMA union has rounded on health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s pledge to make the health service “self-sufficient” in doctors, warning ...
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Unemployment up on both counts
 (203 words)

Both the main measures of unemployment have posted increases, Office for National Statistics figures show.
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Inflation rises (68 words)

Dearer fuel and clothing has pushed the two main inflation measures to their highest rates since October 2014.
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (407 words)

Inflation +2.0%, Average earnings +2.0% ...
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Union news

Building workers urged to vote for merger with Unite
 (310 words)

Construction union UCATT is about to announce whether it is to merge with the Unite general union, with a ballot of its 47,000 members closing on 1 ...
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Unions must reach out to young
 (334 words)

The union movement must attract young workers into membership by offering them what they need, rather than what unions want to give them, says a TUC ...
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Workers on boards
 (135 words)

The TUC has lost no time following up on prime minister Theresa May’s commitment to having workers on company boards, producing a blueprint that ...
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‘Organise in privatised services’
 (115 words)

Probation officers at their union Napo’s annual conference were urged by the chair of another union to push for union recognition when their ...
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European news

Bailout deal means further pressure on Greek trade unions
 (458 words)

An international committee of experts has published new recommendations for employment law in Greece. These are important not just because of their ...
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Change unlikely for EWC reps
 (221 words)

New figures from the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) suggest that the UK’s decision to leave the EU may have less impact on European works ...
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Lithuania adopts new labour code (240 words)

In a further twist in the long-running story of the Lithuanian government’s attempts to change employment law, the Lithuanian parliament has ...
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Breaking the grammar rules
 (2,852 words)

The government’s plans to overturn the existing ban on new grammar schools raise a host of questions about the direction of education policy.
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Legal rights: trade unions set out hopes and fears
 (2,725 words)

Employment rights are more than ever under the spotlight in the face of the UK’s exit from the EU.
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Post Office privatisation marches on
 (2,374 words)

Unions say that the Post Office is at crisis point as a result of government funding cuts and gross mismanagement on the part of the board of the ...
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Law Matters

Major changes pending for UK justice system
 (315 words)

Radical changes lie ahead for the UK’s justice system. In a recently-published joint statement, the Lord Chancellor, Lord Chief Justice and the ...
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Victory for nursing mums
 (310 words)

In a landmark case, described by the Unite general union as a “human rights victory for working women”, two easyJet cabin crew members have won ...
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Holiday pay
 (124 words)

UNISON, supporting member Mr Lock, has achieved a significant Court of Appeal victory against British Gas.
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Termination packages
 (118 words)

The government has confirmed that termination packages available to public sector workers will be reduced by way of a new structure for calculations, ...
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Law Queries

Time off for bereavement (234 words)

Q. Are bereaved employees entitled to time off work? ...
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Tattoos and dress codes
 (265 words)

Q. Can an employer insist on tattoos being covered up at work? ...
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Pay and reasonable adjustments
 (197 words)

Q. If, as a reasonable adjustment, a disabled employee has been moved to a lower-paid role, does the employer have to keep paying the disabled ...
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Law Back-up

Assisting employees with neurodiverse conditions
 (833 words)

This year’s TUC Congress, passed a motion highlighting the importance of support for employees with hidden conditions. Back-Up looks at ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Warehouse conditions come under spotlight
 (291 words)

Following a campaign by the GMB general union, working conditions at the Barnsley distribution warehouse of online fashion retailer ASOS will be ...
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Tube staff now work in fear
 (227 words)

Staff at London Underground (LU) stations are working in fear since so-called Fit for the Future (FFF) changes — which included closing ticket ...
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Unions take strike action over safety (259 words)

Members of the UNISON public services and NUJ journalists’ unions took strike action over health and safety last month. 
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Health & Safety Back-up

Tackling stress and mental health issues
 (823 words)

National Stress Awareness Day takes place on 4 November. Back-Up looks at trade union action to raise awareness about stress and mental health ...
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Equality news

Cuts will devastate equality, say unions
 (438 words)

More huge funding cuts to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) — which unions say will demolish services to some of the most ...
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Childcare disadvantage for low-skilled mothers
 (236 words)

Mothers in low-skilled jobs are more likely to have to give up work or cut their hours after the birth of their second child.
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Working carers
 (119 words)

Almost one in six British workers have had to take time off work, or work irregular hours to care for an elderly relative, a new survey has revealed. ...
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Disability gap
 (157 words)

There is a 31% employment gap between people who are disabled or have a health condition and those who do not, according to research from charity ...
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Workplace Back-up

Are foreign workers getting all the jobs?
 (877 words)

Published shortly after the furore surrounding government suggestions that employers should be required to identify how many non-UK nationals they ...
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New Labour 
in Europe
 (213 words)

Leadership and lost opportunities ...
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 (239 words)

The workers’ story
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e-views (392 words)

I’ve recently taken on a new role in addition to running the Infobo digital consultancy. I’ve been appointed as the first “virtual” chief ...
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News from LRD

LRD Annual General Meeting (118 words)

The 2017 annual general meeting of the Labour Research Department (LRD) is on Monday 15 May, 2017 from 2.00pm at Jerwood Space, Union Street, London ...
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