Labour Research December 2020

Workers suffer while transport firms make cuts - Despite receiving government financial support during the pandemic, firms running public transport are attacking workers' pay and conditions; Furlough extension: will it do the job? - Unions have welcomed the furlough scheme’s further extension. But they insist that, for some sectors in particular, greater support is necessary; Union Learning Fund set to disappear - The need for upskilling and retraining of workers has never been greater. Yet the government plans to scrap the Union Learning Fund


Guidance on students’ Christmas return is ‘riddled with holes’ (393 words)

Allowing just one week for around one million students to travel home across the country for Christmas leaves little room for error, the UCU ...
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Government skills initiative will fail if Union Learning Fund is scrapped (277 words)

The government will struggle to get enough adult learners to take up their entitlement to free A Level-equivalent training if ministers scrap the ...
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Abuse worsens in retail (217 words)

Three-quarters of retail staff say abuse has been worse during the pandemic, research carried out by the Usdaw shopworkers’ union has revealed. ...
Open access

Teaching unions welcome Welsh government’s exams cancellation (283 words)

The decision last month by the Welsh government to cancel external examinations for GCSEs, AS and A Levels in the summer of 2021 has been welcomed by ...
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Creatives warn over Brexit (240 words)

Trade unions representing workers in the creative industries have joined forces to warn that creative workers could miss out on much-needed working ...
Open access

Pressure on safety watchdog criticised (258 words)

A report revealing the government applied pressure to the HSE health and safety watchdog to approve personal protective equipment (PPE) that had not ...
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Statistics catch up with grim reality (205 words)

The tide of redundancy announcements is now showing through clearly in official labour market statistics. ...
Open access

RPI inflation edges up (68 words)

Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation has crept up to 1.3%. ...
Open access

Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (404 words)

Inflation +1.3% average earnings +2.2% ...
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Union news

General secretary resignation leads to leadership election (393 words)

The RMT transport union has been thrust into a leadership election almost four years early following the abrupt resignation announcement from the ...
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Pharmacists’ union affiliates to ICTU (120 words)

The 30,000-strong PDA pharmacists’ union is to affiliate to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) from January 2021. ...
Open access

All change at the top of unions (230 words)

The GMB general union has appointed Warren Kenny as acting general secretary pending an election for a new permanent leader. ...
Open access

European news

Minimum wage legislation (336 words)

Draft legislation on “adequate minimum wages” in the EU has been published by the European Commission (EC). Presented on 28 October, the proposal ...
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Proposed law ‘essentially prohibts strikes’ in Greece (309 words)

Key elements of new labour legislation being proposed in Greece would require electronic voting on strikes and some staff to continue working during ...
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Italian government extends redundancy ban (104 words)

The Italian government is extending the ban on redundancies linked to COVID-19 until the end of March 2021 — contradicting the plans it announced ...
Open access

French employers ignore homeworking (131 words)

Although France’s president Emmanuel Macron said that working from home was to be “generalised”, where possible, during the country’s second ...
Open access


Trouble lies on the road ahead (2,348 words)

Public transport workers have put their lives on the line to get other key workers, as well as food and medicine, where they need to be throughout ...
Open access

Will extension be enough? (2,638 words)

With jobs already lost in hard-hit sectors, is the government’s most recent furlough U-turn sufficient to prevent further job loss carnage? ...
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Union Learning Fund axed (2,358 words)

The TUC and unions were stunned by the recent announcement that ministers intend to cease providing the £12 million annual Union Learning Fund from ...
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Law Matters

Court ruling is victory for workers’ safety (348 words)

Workers have the same protection as employees from detriment if they leave their workplace in circumstances of serious and imminent danger — and ...
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Changes see extenstion to early conciliation period (261 words)

From 1 December, the automatic Acas Early Conciliation period for employment tribunal (ET) claims is extended from one month to six weeks. ...
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Right to picket during lockdown (101 words)

The government was forced to concede that union members have the right to picket during lockdown following a legal challenge brought by the Unite ...
Open access

Interim Relief (140 words)

An employee has won immediate reinstatement in his claim for interim relief pending the full hearing of his claim for automatically unfair dismissal ...
Open access

Law Queries

Requesting personal data (212 words)

Q. I recently had an annual review with my line manager and she made reference to things that were inaccurate. These included the reason for some ...
Open access

Working from home in another country (357 words)

Q. I’ve been working from home for the past six months and can do all my work online. I want to move to Germany for the next six months to stay ...
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Flexitime (235 words)

Q. My employer operates a flexitime system and we’re entitled to take time off if we’ve accrued hours over and above our basic working week. We ...
Open access

Law Back-up

How will new public sector exit pay cap function? (834 words)

Back-up outlines the rules on public sector exit payments that were implemented in November. ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Structural inequality defines COVID impact (249 words)

Unions have welcomed recommendations set out by Baroness Doreen Lawrence in her Labour Party-commissioned review into how people from Black, Asian ...
Open access

Unions warn over lockdown (244 words)

Unions and campaign groups warned the government that its second national lockdown in England, which began early last month, would fail without ...
Open access

Inquiry must investigate ‘revolving door’ (230 words)

The FBU firefighters’ union has called for the Grenfell Tower Inquiry to investigate the independence of building safety certification bodies. ...
Open access

Health & Safety Back-up

Drivers’ health and safety placed at risk (915 words)

Unions say the precarious employment status of private hire and taxi drivers means their health and safety is being left unprotected. ...
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Equality news

BME women endure much greater job insecurity (406 words)

Black and minority ethnic (BME) women are around twice as likely as white workers to be employed in insecure jobs, according to a TUC study. ...
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Language on ageing risks intergenerational strife (204 words)

The language used to speak about ageing and older people risks stoking intergenerational tension and potentially affecting policy-making, finds a ...
Open access

Neuro-divergence still not understood (205 words)

Work is not a happy place for many neurodivergent people, with research revealing that the majority of those diagnosed with autism, dyspraxia and ...
Open access

Workplace Back-up

Fighting for the right to have ‘living hours’ (868 words)

Last month, the RLW, the recommended minimum rate set by the Living Wage Foundation, increased by 20p to £9.50 per hour. ...
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e-views (411 words)

The impact of coronavirus on ways of work and on the economy means many workers are at risk of redundancy. Others find that work is changing or are ...
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