Labour Research January 2021

Firms use pandemic to implement fire and rehire - Under cover of the coronavirus crisis, a number of employers are threatening to fire thousands of staff and rehire them on worse terms; Grim outlook for jobs and the economy - On top of the economic shock of the coronavirus pandemic, the coming year sees Britain facing the impact of Brexit; What is the effect of Long COVID on working lives? - Acquiring coronavirus can mean long-term debilitating and distressing symptoms. What does this mean for workers with Long COVID?


One in seven experiencing destitution are workers (346 words)

One in seven people experiencing destitution are in paid work, says a new study by charity the Jospeh Rowntree Foundation (JRF). ...
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New rules could mean poverty pay for care home workers (266 words)

Care staff could be plunged into poverty and care home residents placed at risk if the government goes ahead with proposed legislation, the UNISON ...
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Rail unions criticise budget cut (223 words)

Rail unions have blasted the government’s decision to cut £1 billion from the rail infrastructure budget, warning that much-needed improvements ...
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Scale of high street crisis means urgent action needed (292 words)

Unions are calling for urgent and targeted action to revive Britain’s ailing high street as retailers are pushed to “breaking point”. ...
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Vaccine priority demand (222 words)

The GMB general union has called on ministers to prioritise school support staff for access to coronavirus vaccination on the same basis as teachers. ...
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Unite slams ‘act of harm’ (262 words)

The government’s decision to withdraw from EU-wide sanctions against US aerospace giant Boeing has been branded “disgraceful” by the Unite ...
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Continuing climb in job losses (204 words)

Rising unemployment, increasing numbers missing from the payroll, and another record for redundancies told their own story in the last set of labour ...
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Inflation falls (70 words)

Subdued clothing and food prices helped cut Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation from 1.3% to 0.9% at the end of 2020 (the November figure). ...
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (405 words)

Inflation +0.9%; Average earnings +3.5 ...
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Union news

Amnesty tells online retail giant to let workers unionise (460 words)

Retail giant Amazon is being accused of antagonism towards unions and effectively denying workers their right to organise, with implications for ...
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Resources review under way (187 words)

Activists in public services union UNISON would like to spend more time recruiting and retaining members and developing activists, but most of their ...
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Rights must be protected (216 words)

A joint statement from unions in Norway and the UK demands that the trade deal being scoped out between the two countries must rule out a race to the ...
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European news

Revised labour law package set to go ahead in Sweden (384 words)

Significant changes in employment protection in Sweden, which seemed blocked in October, are now set to go ahead following a switch in position by ...
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Spanish government pressed on repeal (240 words)

The Spanish coalition government is coming under increasing pressure to deliver on its earlier commitment and repeal 2012 labour legislation seen by ...
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Elections proceed in Belgium despite pandemic (122 words)

Belgium has successfully conducted elections for works councils and health and safety committees despite being one of the countries most affected by ...
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Polish protester defended (57 words)

Poland’s largest teachers’ union, ZNP, has said it will back one of its members facing disciplinary action after taking part in the Women’s ...
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Posted workers directive upheld (56 words)

A challenge from Poland and Hungary to the posted workers directive has been thrown out by the European Court of Justice. ...
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Employers mount fire and rehire onslaught (2,540 words)

The practice of dismissing workers only to rehire them on vastly inferior terms and conditions has intensified during the coronavirus pandemic. ...
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Reasons to be fearful for 2021 (2,542 words)

By any measure, 2020 was brutal. Unfortunately, 2021 does not show signs of bringing much cheer to workers and ordinary families. ...
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Managing Long COVID (1,989 words)

Labour Research looks at what is known about “Long COVID” and at trade union demands for employer action to support workers with continuing and ...
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Law Matters

Pay policy’s age bias is justified, court rules (522 words)

A pay policy that disadvantaged younger employees by increasing the number of years it took them to rise through the pay scale was justified by the ...
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Redundancy still legal despite being ‘engineered’ (127 words)

An “engineered” redundancy is still a redundancy according to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT). The tribunal was ruling in the case of a ...
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Constructive dismissal claim was warranted (236 words)

A failure to return to work following maternity leave can be enough to communicate resignation in response to an employer’s breach of contract ...
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Law Queries

Redundancy pay (391 words)

Q. When our employer made redundancies three years ago, staff were entitled to enhanced redundancy pay. They have just announced that more jobs are ...
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Interim relief (368 words)

Q. I was dismissed after raising concerns with my employer about the inadequacy of steps it has put in place to make our workplace COVID-safe. I ...
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Law Back-up

Blowing the whistle over safety concerns at work (935 words)

This month, Back-up looks at what protection the law on whistleblowing provides to workers who suffer retribution for raising health and safety ...
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Health & Safety Matters

PPE supply fell victim to ‘lack of foresight’ (247 words)

Ministers “made the wrong decisions and reacted too slowly” said Christina McAnea, UNISON public services union assistant general secretary, ...
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Pandemic failures pointed up (301 words)

The GMB general union has welcomed an interim report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Coronavirus that highlights more failures in the ...
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Bullying claims need independent process (235 words)

The senior civil servants’ FDA union has repeated its call for “an independent and transparent process where bullying and harassment allegations ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Campaigners outline zero COVID strategy (827 words)

Back-up looks at what a ‘zero COVID’ strategy means and who is supporting the Zero COVID campaign. ...
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Equality news

Insecure work has harsh impact on new mothers (367 words)

Action is needed to reverse the growth in insecure work — and its particularly harsh impact on pregnant women and new mums in the workplace. ...
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Unions demand support to combat domestic abuse (255 words)

The trade union federations of Great Britain and the island of Ireland (TUC, STUC, WTUC and ICTU), which together represent over six million workers, ...
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Scale of youth joblessness revealed (244 words)

The government must do more to prevent a generation of young people being scarred by mass unemployment, the TUC said recently as it released research ...
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Workplace Back-up

How unions can get the best out of Kickstart (898 words)

Will the “Kickstart” employment subsidy scheme for young people offer quality jobs, good prospects, fair conditions and equality? Unions can help ...
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e-views (445 words)

Every year, I carry out an analysis of the TUC-affiliated unions to see how they rank for influence on Twitter. I compile the results into a league ...
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News from LRD

LRD annual general meeting (100 words)

The 2021 annual general meeting of the Labour Research Department (LRD) is on Monday 17 May 2021 starting at 2.00pm (either as a physical meeting, or ...
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