Labour Research October 2020

Minority report: BAME workers and the unions - a new Labour Research survey examines what UK unions are doing to encourage greater BAME participation in union life; BAME workers, COVID and health and safety - due to historic racism, the risk of death involving COVID-19 is much higher for some ethnic groups, as Labour Research reports; Justice system in meltdown - even before the pandemic, which has worsened the situation, a decade of austerity had wreaked havoc on the justice system


Rail plans will continue to benefit private providers, unions warn (446 words)

Rail unions accused the government of dithering and allowing “private providers to continue to profit by receiving huge amounts of taxpayers’ ...
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TUC launches anti-racism initiative (204 words)

An anti-racism task force made up of senior leaders from across the trade union movement and civil society was launched at last month’s TUC ...
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Keep schools safe (238 words)

Unions representing school support staff say the government must do more to keep schools open and safe. In a joint letter to education secretary ...
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Government must ‘get a grip’ on test and trace and safety at work (279 words)

As the country braces itself for a second COVID wave, amid warnings of a “tsunami of unemployment” in the autumn, the TUC is calling on the ...
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Health unions demand pay justice (264 words)

Last month, health unions stepped up their campaigns for pay justice by launching protests and demonstrations across the country. ...
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U-turn on home working welcomed (235 words)

The PCS civil service union says it has been vindicated after the government announced a u-turn on homeworking as part of the latest coronavirus ...
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Jobs recession gets underway (201 words)

By August there were 695,000 fewer employees working for UK employers than in March, the strongest evidence yet of the COVID crisis and recession. ...
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Inflation dropping (73 words)

The Retail Prices Index (RPI — the unions’ preferred measure) — and the Consumer Prices Index (CPIH), including housing elements, were in rare ...
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (401 words)

Inflation +0.5%, Average earnings -0.1% ...
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Union news

GMB accepts findings of sexual harassment report (516 words)

The GMB general union has accepted in full the findings of the hard-hitting Monaghan report into sexual harassment within the union, despite a ...
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UNISON ballot gets underway (112 words)

Voting gets underway later this month among the 1.3 million members of the UNISON public services union for the first new general secretary in 20 ...
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Anti-union laws (118 words)

A range of trade union leaders, activists and Labour MPs have joined together to issue an open letter highlighting “the urgency of fighting the ...
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Disciplinary and grievance (119 words)

Representing individual members in disciplinary and grievance proceedings is the most important — and most time-consuming — area of work for ...
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European news

Germany and France extend COVID-19 support schemes (485 words)

Germany and France have agreed to extend their national schemes providing financial support to companies keeping employees on the books rather than ...
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German union calls for four-day week (186 words)

The head of Germany’s largest union, IG Metall, wants a four-day week to be part of the negotiations for next year’s pay round. ...
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Sick pay for all (105 words)

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), Ireland’s union confederation, has called for all workers to be paid when they are off sick. ...
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Polish miners’ strike (83 words)

Miners in Poland’s Silesian coalfields have started an underground strike to call for greater government support in plans to reduce the country’s ...
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French union tests trial membership (56 words)

The CFDT, France’s largest union confederation, is trialling a new form of recruitment. To encourage more workers to join, it is offering two ...
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BAME participation: how are unions faring? (2,415 words)

In a year that has seen a resurgence in the Black Lives Matter movement, Labour Research asked UK unions what they are doing to encourage Black and ...
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Burden falls on Black workers (2,116 words)

COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on Black and minority ethnic workers means union action to tackle racism is more important than ever. ...
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Access to justice denied (1,926 words)

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed how a decade of austerity and cuts have left the justice system struggling to cope — at a time when more people ...
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Law Matters

Tribunal erred over race discrimination case (337 words)

An employment tribunal was wrong to strike out a claim of continuing race discrimination for being out of time without hearing evidence at a full ...
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Care workers are entitled to paid travelling time (293 words)

A wages claim brought by the UNISON public services union has established that care workers are entitled to paid travelling time. ...
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Campaign urges sick pay increase (248 words)

A campaign to increase sick pay urges the government to take urgent action on statutory sick pay (SSP). The TUC is asking people to sign the petition ...
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Law Queries

Redundancy selection criteria (328 words)

Q. Our employer has announced that it will be making redundancies and is asking us all to apply for our own jobs. They will be using selection ...
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Grounds for disciplinary (263 words)

Q. My employer is instigating disciplinary proceedings against me because they say I have been “difficult” in meetings. But they have not ...
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Overtime for part-timers (164 words)

Q. I work part time (25 hours per week) and I get the same hourly rate as my full-time colleagues who work 35 hours per week. They all get overtime ...
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Law Back-up

Material factor defence can explain pay difference (966 words)

A female senior executive was not entitled to equal pay with her male comparators. Back-up investigates. ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Unsafe back-to-work plans undermined (235 words)

New guidance will be issued to civil servants following the government’s about-turn in its attempt to cajole them back to offices. ...
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Lecturers’ union warned government over COVID (244 words)

As over a million students headed to university last month, the UCU lecturers’ union warned that this mass migration risked causing a major health ...
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Initiative seeks to protect workers (243 words)

The TUC has joined forces with Leicester mayor Sir Peter Soulsby to call on major UK fashion retailers to attend a round table summit and sign a TUC ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Airborne spread is a likely COVID-19 risk (915 words)

Last month, Doctors in Unite, the national doctors’ trade union within the Unite general union, issued a briefing on the importance of airborne ...
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Equality news

Older BAME people worse off than white peers (376 words)

Black people in their 50s and 60s have significantly lower weekly incomes than their White peers, are less likely to own their home outright and are ...
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Law and financial firms top family-friendly list (261 words)

As the pandemic continues to change the way many people work, work-life balance charity Working Families has announced its annual list of the top ...
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Anti-racism ambassadors (125 words)

The TUC’s Northern region is working with education charity Show Racism the Red Card this autumn to run an anti-racism ambassador programme to help ...
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Gender pay gap (90 words)

Nearly two-thirds (65%) of female students in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) said they would look at their prospective ...
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Workplace Back-up

How length of service matters to your rights (668 words)

Whether being made redundant or just finding your feet in a new job, length of service counts when it comes to rights at work — and millions may be ...
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e-views (364 words)

Are you a union rep or branch official storing sensitive data online? For example, are you using a cloud platform such as Microsoft 365 or Google’s ...
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