Labour Research July 2021

Union branches: managing through the crisis? - a new Labour Research survey examines whether and how trade union branch organisation has survived the coronavirus pandemic; Is 'free speech' legislation all that it seems? - universities could face action over breaches of 'free speech', but unions question whether the government’s approach is proportionate; Food poverty: hungry for change - the UK is witnessing ever-growing food poverty and ever-growing support for campaigns to tackle this, including from unions


Shopworkers’ union says chancellor must do more (377 words)

A perfect storm looms for the high street, the Usdaw retail union said last month as it urged chancellor Rishi Sunak for more support. ...
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TUC calls for extension to furlough (269 words)

The TUC last month warned employers against breaching official guidance by forcing staff to “needlessly” work in offices and other workplaces. ...
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Class divide (134 words)

TUC research points to an emerging “class divide” as some workers opt to keep working from home, while those who can’t work from home have ...
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Arts funding cuts (121 words)

Unions in the arts sector have come together to protest at funding cuts to higher education (HE) performing arts subjects as the government sets out ...
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Unions denounce pressures heaped on care sector staff (348 words)

Large numbers of care employers are not giving sick pay to COVID-hit staff, says the UNISON public services union as tensions mount over the ...
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Action needed on aviation (192 words)

Pilots’ union BALPA is urging the government to act now, as research reveals the continuing devastating effect COVID restrictions are having on UK ...
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Channel 4 proposals attacked (246 words)

Broadcasting unions have warned against selling off Channel 4 amid reports that the government is considering privatising the channel. ...
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Unemployment rate posts a fall (207 words)

The winding-down of the furlough scheme could lead to an unemployment surge — although thankfully we’re not there yet. ...
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Inflation jumps (72 words)

Inflation jumped for the year to May, rising to 3.3% on the Retail Prices Index (RPI) and 2.1% on CPI and CPIH (the officially preferred measures). ...
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (413 words)

Inflation +3.3%, average earnings +8.4% ...
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Union news

Trade union membership rises for fourth year in succession (472 words)

Trade union membership increased in 2020 for the fourth year in succession, confirming TUC predictions that the evident value of unions during the ...
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Unite leadship election (145 words)

Voting gets under way this month in the election for a leader of the massive general union, Unite. ...
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New leader pledges fight for ‘good jobs’ (242 words)

The newly-elected leader of the GMB general union, Gary Smith, told his union’s annual congress, held online last month, that the union would fight ...
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European news

Pension system reforms in France back on the agenda (393 words)

Changes in the French pension system seem to be back on the agenda after the president, Emmanuel Macron, announced last month that he was looking at ...
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Germany agrees supply chain law (256 words)

The German parliament has adopted a law on company supply chains which, its backers argue, will create “more justice between the rich and poor”. ...
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Moderate union retains top spot (142 words)

The French CFDT union confederation, generally seen as more moderate than its two main rivals, has retained its position as the confederation with ...
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Polish nurses’ strike (103 words)

Polish nurses from 40 hospitals took part in a two-hour strike on 9 June to press for higher wages. ...
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Trade union branches: weathering the crisis? (2,720 words)

A unique Labour Research survey examines the health of union branches — including how they have grappled with the coronavirus crisis. ...
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Campus free speech in peril? (2,612 words)

The government’s Bill obliging higher education institutions to promote free speech is likely to have the opposite effect say critics, including ...
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Organising against food poverty (2,282 words)

Labour Research looks at growing support for the Right to Food campaign and how it builds on long-standing trade union demands to tackle the causes ...
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Law Matters

Unions will be hit hard by raft of new measures (355 words)

The government has announced a proposal to introduce a 2.5% levy on trade unions to fund the costs of the trade union regulator, the Certification ...
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Acas report sees fire and rehire tactic in spotlight (241 words)

The Acas advisory and conciliation service has published a report into the practice of dismissal and re-engagement (fire and rehire) that has ...
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Enforcement body (105 words)

One of the recommendations of the Good Work Plan, resulting from the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices published in 2017, was a single ...
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Gender critical belief is protected (85 words)

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has held that the belief that an individual’s sex is fixed at birth and cannot be changed is a “protected ...
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Tesco equal pay claims can proceed (52 words)

A European Court of Justice ruling means a group of Tesco female supermarket workers, who claim their work is of equal value to that carried out by ...
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Law Queries

Enhanced redundancy (111 words)

Q. My employer’s policy is that if we are to get enhanced redundancy pay, we must sign an agreement stating we won’t bring a claim against them. ...
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Restriction on holidays (164 words)

Q. Our employer has just told us we will not be able to take more than two days’ holiday during any one week throughout July and August. Are they ...
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Changes to contract (258 words)

Q. I’ve just been given notice that my shifts are going to change even though I disagreed to it. My manager says that as he consulted me about the ...
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Unfair redundancy (211 words)

Following a redundancy selection exercise last month, I was selected for redundancy. But I’ve just discovered correspondence suggesting I was ...
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Law Back-up

Protection from detriment includes industrial action (917 words)

In a significant victory for unions, workers who go on strike are now protected from detriment following a recent case brought by a union rep from ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Face mask requirement must be re-introduced (293 words)

Last month, with coronavirus infections on the rise again, the GMB, NEU, UNISON and Unite education unions demanded the government reinstate the ...
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NHS and social care staff face burnout emergency (219 words)

Workforce burnout across the NHS and social care has reached an emergency level, posing a risk to the future functioning of these services, finds a ...
Open access

COVID as an occupational disease (146 words)

The UK lags behind a number of other countries when it comes to recognising COVID-19 as an occupational disease and compensating affected workers, ...
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Hazards Conference (70 words)

The annual Hazards conference, a key event in the trade union health and safety calendar, takes place online again this year on 31 July-1 August. ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Unions demand action over violence at work (873 words)

There is increasing evidence that levels of work-related violence have soared over the course of the COVID pandemic. Back-up looks at union calls for ...
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Equality news

Disabled people treated unfairly during crisis (331 words)

Nearly one in three disabled workers say they have been treated unfairly at work during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a TUC poll. ...
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Single parents buckle under COVID pressure (286 words)

The world of work simply doesn’t work for single parents — and things are set to get worse before they get better, warns a joint report by single ...
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Salary transparency needed (241 words)

Making employers advertise all jobs with salary details — and stop asking applicants about their salary history —will help close the gender pay ...
Open access

Workplace Back-up

Building better work in the construction sector (825 words)

Construction has been described as insecure and conflict prone. A recent study allows comparisons with the UK and elsewhere. ...
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e-views (425 words)

One of the big technology successes during the COVID-19 pandemic is video conferencing. ...
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