Labour Research January 2017

The year ahead - the coming year is likely to be a very challenging one for trade unions, as Labour Research reports; Right turn? - across Europe, parties of the populist right have met with some electoral success: so who are they?; Status report - The rise of the so-called gig economy has seen the issue of employment status placed firmly in the spotlight; Unsafe bet - gambling during working hours is more possible than ever before, thanks to the rise of online gaming


Celebrating 100 years of news and information for trade unions
 (469 words)

This year sees Labour Research magazine celebrating its centenary. 
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Modern employment under review (164 words)

The government has announced a review of modern employment practices to be led by Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the Royal Society for the Arts. ...
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Centenary news (243 words)

In January 1931, an article in Labour Research reviewed the extent of unemployment in the UK and its political impact. 
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Steel company forges new deal over jobs and production in UK
 (329 words)

Steel unions have won a commitment from Tata Steel to secure the future of jobs and production at Port Talbot and other steelworks across the UK, ...
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Single market membership mooted
 (206 words)

The TUC is calling on the government to seek membership of the EU's single market to protect jobs and rights at work. 
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Appraisal victory
 (126 words)

The PCS civil service union has won major concessions over the “unfair and divisive appraisal systems” used across government.
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Building site safety
 (110 words)

Small building sites are a health and safety “basket case,” said construction union UCATT last month. The union was responding to the chief ...
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Inflation rises (73 words)

Inflation is at a two-year high. Under the Retail Prices Index (RPI), the measure favoured by union negotiators, the annual inflation rate was up 2.2% ...
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Unemployment rate posts a fall
 (209 words)

Unemployment according to the Labour Force Survey fell by 16,000 to 1.62 million in the three months to October 2016. The unemployment rate stood at 4 ...
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (418 words)

Inflation +2.2%, Average earnings +2.8% ...
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Union news

Contest for leader of country's biggest union gets under way
 (364 words)

Nominations for candidates to run as general secretary of the UK’s largest union, general union Unite, open this month following the union’s ...
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Cortes re-elected (81 words)

Manuel Cortes has been returned for a second term as general secretary of the TSSA white collar transport union. He took 66% of the votes to 34% for ...
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Fresh election for position of general secretary must be held (208 words)

The United Road Transport Union (URTU) is to run a fresh election for the position of general secretary after being found to have breached its rules ...
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Political funds
 (102 words)

New rules on union political funds come into full effect on 29 February 2018, the government has announced. 
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 (125 words)

A union representing couriers working for Deliveroo, the app-based takeaway delivery firm, has lodged a recognition claim with the Central ...
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Union merger
 (28 words)

The UFS, a non-TUC finance union with 1,860 members, is to merge with the Community general union, bolstering its membership of just under 32,000. ...
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European news

Spain sees largest minimum wage increase for 30 years
 (401 words)

The minimum wage in Spain is going up by 8% this month, the largest increase since 1986. The increase, which is more than 10 times the level of ...
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Opposition to labour law changes continues
 (286 words)

Greece’s two main union confederations, GSEE and ADEDY, are maintaining opposition to planned changes in labour law which they fear will weaken ...
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European working conditions survey
 (123 words)

Eurofound, the EU agency based in Dublin which looks at living and working conditions, has published initial findings from its latest survey of work ...
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Support for sister union
 (132 words)

The Bavarian region of Germany’s largest union, IG Metall, has expressed its support for the Slovak union OZ KOVO in a dispute with a breakaway ...
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What will 2017 bring the unions?
 (3,352 words)

A continued pay squeeze, the implementation of the Trade Union Act and the impact of the Brexit process will all make for a tough year for unions. ...
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Populist radical right on the rise
 (2,635 words)

For some years, parties of the populist right have seen a rise in electoral support across Europe. Labour Research looks at some of them.
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Determining employment status
 (2,235 words)

The modern world of work has heralded an explosion in insecure employment models. Labour Research examines these and looks at how unions can help the ...
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Tackling the problem of problem gambling
 (1,694 words)

Unlike drugs and alcohol, problematic gambling has not really figured on union agendas. That may be about to change.
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Law Matters

Regulations on ballot thresholds published
 (324 words)

The government has recently published regulations providing more detail on the new industrial action ballot thresholds due to come into force under ...
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Government issues tax and benefit changes
 (259 words)

Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Autumn Statement contained some announcements of relevance to employees. 
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Consultation on tribunal reforms
 (237 words)

One of the latest steps in the government’s push for radical reform of the courts and tribunal system is a consultation launched by The Department ...
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Law Queries

Speaking English
 (281 words)

Q. Is it legal to require an employee to only speak English at work? ...
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Tribunal fees (245 words)

Q. What are current employment tribunal fees, and does everyone have to pay them? ...
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Shared parental leave (231 words)

Q. Who can benefit from shared parental leave? ...
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Law Back-up

How can the barriers to justice be broken down? 
 (896 words)

Back-Up looks at a recent report published by the Fabian Society that highlights key features of our justice system currently preventing universal ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Unions point up issue of domestic violence
 (408 words)

Unions highlighted a series of shocking statistics to drive home the message that sexual violence and violence against women are workplace issues, as ...
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Rail plans condemned
 (161 words)

Transport unions have condemned as “piecemeal privatisation” transport secretary Chris Grayling’s plans to allow private train operating ...
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Crackdown urged over dangerous driving
 (241 words)

The GMB general union has called for an immediate zero tolerance crackdown on dangerous driving. The call came after new figures, released by refuse ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Undermining justice for injured workers
 (913 words)

Unions have condemned the latest government attack on injured workers contained in a Ministry of Justice (MoJ) consultation which ends this month. ...
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Equality news

Health service cuts impact on LGBT users
 (323 words)

Public spending cuts have resulted in LGBT people experiencing reduced access to mainstream health services, finds a report by public sector union ...
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Flexible work: employers’ attitude remains grudging
 (309 words)

Around a quarter (26%) of working mothers have had a request for flexible working rejected while 12% feel their employer did not even consider their ...
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Social mobility index
 (118 words)

The Social Mobility Foundation and the Social Mobility Commission are to publish an annual employer index on social mobility, beginning this ...
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Autistic workers need suppor
t (122 words)

Just 16% of autistic adults are in full-time work, with research by the National Autistic Society (NAS) revealing that this figure has remained the ...
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Workplace Back-up

Will proposals shake up corporate governance?
 (868 words)

The government’s Green Paper consultation, Corporate Governance Reform, launched at the end of November last year, set out a number of proposals to ...
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The Levellers’ revolution (223 words)

John Rees, Verso Books, 400 pages, £25, hardback
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 (204 words)

The myth of a public service
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e-views (461 words)

Each year I look at how influential the TUC-affiliated unions are on Twitter and compile the results into a league table on my blog. 
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News from LRD

LRD EC and AGM (125 words)

The LRD is inviting nominations for the 16 places on its executive committee (EC) and for the post of honorary treasurer for the period May 2017 to ...
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