Labour Research March 2017

Closing the gap? - Regulations requiring employers to publish information on the gender pay gap finally come into force from the end of March. Do they go far enough? Women’s health and safety - Women’s occupational health and safety is still often ignored or not properly taken into account. Trade unions are working to ensure this changes; Industrial action - Key provisions of the government’s union-bashing Trade Union Act take effect this month. How will unions respond to the challenges this presents?


More people than ever now in insecure work, says TUC
 (337 words)

The number of insecure workers in the UK has gone up by a quarter since 2011. And the explosion in insecure work is costing the Exchequer an ...
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Met slammed over destroyed files
 (312 words)

Unions and the Blacklist Support Group (BSG) have reacted angrily to the news that the Metropolitan Police has destroyed evidence required for use in ...
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Centenary news (264 words)

Tory attacks on unions have a long history. This month’s Centenary News looks at the part of that history that saw the Thatcher government banning ...
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‘One Day’ highlights migrant contribution to UK economy
 (268 words)

The plight of EU citizens being used as “bargaining chips” in the Brexit process was highlighted when tens of thousands of migrants and their ...
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Warning over pension scams
 (262 words)

The theft of pension savings has proved hard to prevent, and new legal measures are needed to “narrow the open goal presented to scammers”. 
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Plumb wrong (261 words)

The case against “sham” self-employment was boosted last month when an appeal by Pimlico Plumbers (PP) was dismissed, and a former ...
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Joblessness lowest for 11 years
 (217 words)

UK unemployment has fallen to its lowest level for almost 11 years. Under the Labour Force Survey (LFS) count, the number of unemployed people fell ...
Open access

Inflation rises (74 words)

Dearer petrol and rising food prices have taken inflation to a three-year high. 
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (411 words)

Inflation +2.6%, Average earnings +1.9% ...
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Union news

Postholders sought for top positions in several unions (274 words)

A number of changes are going on at the top of unions over the next couple of months, in addition to the well-publicised leadership battle in ...
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Stanistreet takes maternity leave (57 words)

National Union of Journalists’ leader Michelle Stanistreet has become the first union general secretary in the UK ever to take maternity leave ...
Open access

Concerns over Brexit prompt campaign by lecturers’ union (289 words)

The UCU university and college lecturers’ union, whose members work in one of the sectors most under threat from the Brexit fallout, has launched a ...
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Opposition to CETA continues (222 words)

Unions have vowed to continue to oppose the EU-Canada trade deal known as CETA when it comes to their national parliaments.
Open access

European news

UK plants potentially at risk as car giants consider merger
 (460 words)

Employees and their unions across Europe have expressed fears for the future after the unexpected announcement of a possible merger of the European ...
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Representation under threat 
 (219 words)

The European Court of Justice is currently considering a case against the German system of employee representation on company boards which could ...
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Small turnout for small firms (243 words)

The results of the delayed election for employee representatives covering very small companies in France — with fewer than 11 employees — show no ...
Open access


Will employers finally start to mind the gap?
 (2,185 words)

Regulations obliging employers to publish information on the gender pay gap are set to come into effect at last. But are the new rules sufficient?
Open access

Keeping women safe and healthy
 (2,039 words)

As unions prepare to mark International Women’s Day, Labour Research looks at how they are putting women’s health and safety in the spotlight.
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Tories’ Act of spite commences
 (1,903 words)

From this month, unions have to comply with a raft of new and onerous rules on balloting and picketing in order to stay within the law, as some of ...
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Law Matters

Ruling sees defence of collective bargaining
 (317 words)

The Unite general union has secured a landmark tribunal ruling in defence of the collective bargaining process. 
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Developments in tribunal practice and procedure
 (287 words)

There has been an increased focus on Employment Tribunal (ET) practice and procedure recently for a variety of reasons. ...
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Employment status
 (160 words)

Last month saw the publication of the review into the impact of new work models on employment practices ordered by prime minister Theresa May last ...
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Pay gap reporting
 (80 words)

Regulations imposing gender pay gap reporting requirements on public sector employers (in England and some non-devolved authorities in Great Britain) ...
Open access

Law Queries

Overtime and holiday pay (322 words)

Q. Should overtime be included when calculating statutory holiday pay entitlement? ...
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Disciplinary and grievance (228 words)

A. If a member starts a grievance in the middle of a disciplinary process, should the employer stop the disciplinary? ...
Open access

Suitable alternative work
 (158 words)

Q. If a redundant member turns down an offer of suitable alternative employment, will they lose their right to a redundancy payment? ...
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Law Back-up

Government digs in over employment tribunal fees
 (924 words)

On 31 January, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) produced its long overdue review of employment tribunal fees. Back-up looks at the review’s ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Reps say stress is the number one concern
 (283 words)

Seven in 10 union safety reps say that stress is the top concern in their workplace. Yet few employers know how to tackle the issue effectively, ...
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Exhausted night shift docs fall asleep driving home
 (191 words)

More than a third of doctors have fallen asleep while driving home from night shift work, according to a survey of more than 1,100 doctors carried ...
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Doubt cast on ethical trading initiative
 (223 words)

The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) is “utterly ineffective when it comes to defending workers’ rights”, according to the GMB general ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Dealing with violence and abuse at work
 (936 words)

More and more unions are reporting horrific levels of work-related violence and abuse, with many blaming the rise on cuts to public services. Back-up ...
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Equality news

UK may be creating a ‘fatherhood penalty’ 
 (398 words)

While many fathers want to fulfil their caring responsibilities for their children, they don’t feel their employers are giving them the support ...
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Young talent hindered by lack of equal access
 (267 words)

Unpaid internships should be stopped if young people from all backgrounds are to have equal access to the leading professions, says a recent report ...
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Older people not to blame for plight of youth (233 words)

There is insufficient evidence to suggest that older people’s pensions are weighing on the wages or pension benefits of young workers, a new TUC ...
Open access

Workplace Back-up

How to make the levy work for apprentices
 (918 words)

The apprenticeship levy comes into force next month on 6 April. New TUC guidance is helping prepare union negotiators for the initiative, but many ...
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Rebel crossings
 (206 words)

New women, free lovers, and radicals in Britain and the United States
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The disappearance of Émile Zola
 (211 words)

Love, literature and the Dreyfus case
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e-views (420 words)

When the UK’s Data Protection Act came into force in 1998, the term “data protection” entered our vocabulary as a representation of the legal ...
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News from LRD

Challenging ‘gig’ insecurity
 (116 words)

This year’s annual general meeting of the Labour Research Department on 15 May will hear from guest speaker Mick Rix, national officer at the GMB ...
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