Labour Research March 2018

Women's union profile - in this special women’s issue, Labour Research carries out its’ biennial investigation into how well represented women are in our unions; Women and health and safety at work - what impact have unions had on women’s health and safety in the workplace since the introduction of legal rights for safety reps?; Apprenticeship levy needs a rethink - nearly a year after the government's apprenticeship levy was introduced, the scheme has come in for heavy criticism


School budget cuts see big reduction in teaching staff
 (306 words)

School are being forced to cut teachers and teaching assistant posts in order to make ends meet — with devastating impact in the classroom, reveals ...
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Carillion crash must lead to reform
 (343 words)

Unions have called for fundamental reforms following the collapse of construction giant Carillion and profit warnings from outsourcing firm ...
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Industrial news (259 words)

As Labour Research went to press, members of the UCU university and college staff union were due to commence 14 days of escalating strike action at 64 ...
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Pregnancy and maternity are subject to antiquated beliefs
 (330 words)

Women continue to face pregnancy and maternity discrimination from employers, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has warned.
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Warning over Trump threat
 (202 words)

The TUC has warned that the US Trump administration is a threat to workers following his failed attempt to impose tariffs of almost 300% on imports ...
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Reject GKN bid, says union (253 words)

The Unite general union has called for shareholders of the GKN aerospace and engineering giant to reject a “hostile” takeover by the Melrose ...
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UK economic growth rate slows
 (217 words)

The first official estimate of the UK economy’s 2017 performance points to growth of 1.8%, down on the previous year’s figure of 1.9% and the ...
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Inflation dips down (78 words)

In January, the annual rate of inflation under the RPI — the inflation measure favoured by union negotiators — dipped to 4.0% from 4.1%. 
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (413 words)

Inflation +4.0%, Average earnings +2.8% ...
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Union news

Political fund rules lead to change in subs arrangements (380 words)

Leaders of public services union UNISON have settled on new rules for the operation its political funds, which have been triggered by new law in this ...
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Pilots score major recognition victory in battle with Ryanair (238 words)

Pilots working for low-cost airline Ryanair have scored a major victory by reaching a voluntary recognition agreement with the company — the first ...
Open access

Unite general secretary election
 (177 words)

A judge appointed by the certification officer (CO) will this month hear a claim that last year’s Unite general union leadership election should ...
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National Education Union
 (72 words)

Kevin Courtney has been elected unopposed as joint general secretary (NUT section) of the new National Education Union (NEU), a merger of the NUT and ...
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European news

French public service unions take stand over restructuring
 (467 words)

French unions representing public service workers have expressed opposition to government proposals to restructure the country’s public services, ...
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Firmer line on self-employment 
 (144 words)

The new Dutch government has promised to take firmer action against those who “maliciously” use self-employment to evade paying taxes and social ...
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Better pay and 
new rights
 (153 words)

Germany’s biggest union, IG Metall, has reached a settlement for metalworkers which provides for an above-inflation pay increase and the right for ...
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Proposals on self-employed rights
 (95 words)

The European Commission is set to publish new proposals on self-employed workers later this month. 
Open access


What’s the outlook for trade union women?
 (2,407 words)

Although change at the top level is slow, unions continue their efforts to ensure women are fairly represented throughout their structures.
Open access

Making gains for women workers
 (2,334 words)

Unions have made many gains for women’s health and safety in the 40 years since the introduction of legal rights for health and safety reps.
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Levy must learn to improve
 (1,906 words)

By and large, business has not looked kindly on the government’s apprenticeship levy scheme, under which apprenticeship starts have fallen ...
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Law Matters

Government’s response to review is inadequate
 (282 words)

The government last month finally produced a response to the review of the impact of new forms of work led by Matthew Taylor and commissioned by ...
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Compensation for injury to feelings affirmed by ruling
 (295 words)

In a working time case pursued by the FBU firefighters’ union on behalf of a group of members against their employer, South Yorkshire Fire and ...
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Pensions victory (228 words)

The FBU firefighters’ union has scored a significant Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) victory against the government in relation to their ...
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Law Queries

Caste and discrimination
 (230 words)

Q. Is it unlawful to discriminate against workers on the basis of caste? ...
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National Insurance Fund
 (340 words)

Q. What sort of payments can an employee recover from the National Insurance Fund when their employer goes bust?
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Part-timers and training (146 words)

Q. Can an employer oblige a part-time employee to carry out training on their day off? ...
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Law Back-up

UK sex discrimination law needs radical overhaul
 (891 words)

The Fawcett Society, which campaigns for gender equality and women’s rights, has produced a ground-breaking sex discrimination law review covering ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Education staff face increase in violence 
 (272 words)

The number of serious injuries caused by violent assaults on education workers shot up by 24% over the last five years, according to the GMB general ...
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Death of driver shines a light on gig economy cruelty (217 words)

The death of DPD delivery driver Don Lane, who collapsed in his van while making deliveries over Christmas, has increased pressure on the government ...
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Schools fire risk
 (127 words)

The NEU teachers’ and FBU firefighters’ unions have accused the government of allowing its own advice on fire protection “to be routinely ...
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Further action on South Western 
 (131 words)

Members of the RMT rail union on South Western Railway last month took further industrial action in their long-running dispute over safety, the role ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Health, safety and older women workers
 (873 words)

Back-up looks at the health and safety of older women workers and at resources available to help union reps take action to support them.
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Equality news

New study exposes trans discrimination
 (381 words)

One in eight trans employees has been physically attacked by a colleague or customer in the last year, according to a new study released by LGBT ...
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Women face automation
 (283 words)

Leading women activists from general union Unite have been considering how women’s jobs are likely to be disproportionately affected by new ...
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Socio-economic duty in Scotland
 (120 words)

As of 1 April, public bodies in Scotland have to consider the impact that their decisions will have on narrowing socio-economic inequalities.
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‘Baby leave’ for MPs
 (121 words)

Last month, Parliament voted to introduce formal baby leave for MPs which will give them leave entitlement and the right to vote by proxy.
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Workplace Back-up

Helping women workers manage the menopause
 (819 words)

Employment rates among older women have increased dramatically over the last three decades, making dealing with the menopause an increasingly ...
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Helping women workers manage the menopause
 (474 words)

How do visitors access your website? In a relatively short period of time, smartphones and tablets have completely changed the way we access the web. ...
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News from LRD

LRD AGM - keynote speaker Kate Bell (182 words)

As the date for the UK to leave the European Union draws nearer, we face a complex range of social and economic problems. 
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