Labour Research April 2021

Unions move to 'decolonise' education - Unions are involved in the movement to 'decolonise' education and to challenge longstanding biases and omissions in the curriculum; Social work in the time of the pandemic - The coronavirus crisis has had a huge impact on social workers and social work - as well as worsening a pre-existing crisis in the sector; What’s happening to the UK’s safety watchdog? - Unions say cuts to the Health and Safety Executive have left it ill prepared to deal with workplace issues around coronavirus


Health unions maintain pressure over pay offer (399 words)

Health unions are maintaining pressure on the government after it refused to improve on its one per cent pay offer to the NHS Pay Review Body (PRB) ...
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Fire and rehire: action continues (268 words)

Industrial action over fire and rehire continues to rage, with British Gas workers facing being shut out of their workplace and Heathrow workers ...
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National rail dispute may be on horizon (232 words)

The RMT rail workers’ union has moved to “national dispute” footing to protect thousands of rail jobs after it discovered that Network Rail is ...
Open access

Police Bill strikes ‘at the heart of the trade union movement’ (284 words)

Unions are warning that the wide-ranging powers to limit protest contained in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill strike “at the heart of ...
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Aviation unions raise alarm (275 words)

A joint statement published last month by the TUC, aviation unions, Heathrow Airport and the Swissport aviation services company has called on ...
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Home working must be optional (208 words)

While many workers have found the homeworking experience to be positive, significant numbers have experienced work intensification and stress over ...
Open access

Young worst hit by jobs crisis (211 words)

Positive news on payroll jobs, or the precipice before a surge in unemployment, scarring young people in particular? Those were two conflicting ...
Open access

RPI remains steady (77 words)

Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation stuck at 1.4% for the year to February. It opened up the gap between RPI and the CPI Consumer Prices Index, which ...
Open access

Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (407 words)

Inflation +1.4%, Average earnings +4.4% ...
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Union news

Reps stand by to promote benefits of C-19 vaccination (364 words)

Unions are lending their weight to the drive to encourage people to have the COVID vaccine when offered it. ...
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Unite pushes for recognition (243 words)

The Unite general union is to attempt to force offshore contractor Altrad to recognise the union to represent its 200 offshore workers after the ...
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ASLEF general secretary (34 words)

Mick Whelan has been re-elected unopposed as general secretary of the 20,000-member ASLEF rail union. It will be his third five-year term in the role ...
Open access

NUJ general secretary applications (38 words)

The National Union of Journalists is inviting applications from members for the general secretary position, which must be submitted by 3 May. The ...
Open access

Musicians’ Union (64 words)

The Musicians’ Union has extended until the end of June a scheme to give struggling members a subscriptions holiday. In operation since May 2020, ...
Open access

UNISON conference (100 words)

Public services union UNISON is planning to hold an online special delegate conference in June, when it would normally hold its national delegate ...
Open access

European news

EU looks towards possible change for platform workers (377 words)

Change may be coming to the EU in relation to platform work — work where those supplying the service and the customers receiving it are brought ...
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Post-COVID blueprint set out (242 words)

The French government has set out a series of measures it says will help France move towards a post-COVID setting. ...
Open access

Employee status in Spain (135 words)

New legislation in Spain, giving employee status to delivery workers (see Labour Research, March 2021, page 8) has now been passed. ...
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Belgian unions take strike action (112 words)

Belgium’s two largest trade union confederations, the CSC and the FGTB, organised a day of action on 29 March to protest over the employers’ ...
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Education unions strive to unravel the imperial past (2,454 words)

The movement to ‘decolonise’ education, which includes trade unions, involves a fundamental reconsideration of what is being taught in our ...
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The ‘forgotten frontline’ (2,463 words)

The pandemic has hugely affected the way social workers work and has exacerbated the serious problems that were already affecting the sector. ...
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Is safety watchdog up to the task? (2,103 words)

Britain’s workplace health and safety watchdog, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), has faced accusations that it has “gone AWOL” during the ...
Open access

Law Matters

Court dismisses appeal by ‘sleep-in’ workers (438 words)

The UK’s final court of appeal, the Supreme Court, has dismissed appeals by care workers against a failure to pay the National Minimum Wage (NMW) ...
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Ruling holds worker was not entitled to holiday pay (210 words)

A worker who has taken annual leave, despite not being paid for it, can’t rely on the European Court of Justice’s decision in King v Sash Window ...
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Shielding advice (84 words)

The government has announced that those who are “clinically extremely vulnerable” will no longer be advised to shield from Thursday 1 April. ...
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Section 44 (156 words)

Regulations to extend provisions of Section 44 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (see Labour Research, February 2021, page 23) to all “workers” ...
Open access

Law Queries

Pay increments after TUPE (441 words)

Q. My job was transferred under TUPE three years ago when I moved from part of the NHS to the private sector. I was put on an equivalent pay point ...
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Redundancy and fixed-term contract (331 words)

Q. My employer says they can’t employ the same number of staff since the start of coronavirus. I’m on a fixed-term contract. ...
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Law Back-up

judgment has implications for wider gig economy (864 words)

On 19 February 2021, the Supreme Court handed down its judgment in the case of Uber BV and ors v Aslam and ors [2021] UKSC 5, dismissing the final ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Stress tops list of safety reps’ concerns (315 words)

Stress is once again “far and away” the top health and safety concern for safety reps. ...
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Minicab drivers take action (231 words)

London minicab drivers last month took strike action against app-based private hire operators, including Bolt, Uber, Free Now and Ola, in protest at ...
Open access

School safety measures not adequate (229 words)

A snapshot survey of school support staff in England by the UNISON public services union found half were anxious about the return to classrooms last ...
Open access

Health & Safety Back-up

‘Health and safety is a fundamental right’ (866 words)

On 28 April, trade unionists around the world will mark the annual International Workers’ Memorial Day (IWMD). Under the slogan Remember the Dead, ...
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Equality news

Pandemic sees women workers facing burnout (316 words)

A new survey by the UNISON public services union reveals that key worker women are losing sleep, spending more on household bills, and worrying about ...
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Older workers consigned to poverty by ill health (328 words)

Hundreds of thousands of older workers are being “consigned to poverty” due to ill health, warns the TUC.      ...
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BAME graduates apply for significantly more jobs (223 words)

Graduates from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds are applying for more jobs than their white counterparts, data released by ...
Open access

Workplace Back-up

Will low inflation be with us much longer? (892 words)

We are living in a period of COVID-induced low inflation and have altered some of our spending choices during the pandemic. Back-up investigates. ...
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e-views (400 words)

Expectations around good quality online services and facilities have never been higher. This isn’t limited just to internet-based companies, but ...
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