Labour Research January 2022

Unions pour cold water on water firms’ record - England’s private water firms have given out almost half as much to shareholders as they have spent upgrading and maintaining water systems; Fair enough? Scotland’s ‘Fair Work’ programme - do unions in Scotland feel that the aspirational rhetoric of the Scottish government’s ‘Fair Work’ policy lives up to reality?; It’s time for a four-day working week - the Covid pandemic has seen the idea of a four-day working week and a three-day weekend catapulted up the agenda


Unions, businesses and green groups call for action on COP26 (353 words)

The TUC, along with business lobby group the CBI and green groups, has called on the government to implement the Glasgow Climate Pact reached at COP26 ...
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TUC warns of ‘cost of living storm’ (321 words)

The TUC has warned that working families face a “cost of living storm” in 2022, with wages rising at just half the speed of inflation in the ...
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Bring back furlough scheme, say unions (222 words)

Unions have called on the government to reintroduce the furlough scheme to protect jobs affected by the latest Covid-19 mitigations introduced last ...
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Government in Scotland supports right of workers to ‘disconnect’ (278 words)

The Scottish government is the first in the UK to give its support for government employees and those employed in devolved agencies to have the ...
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Victory for Salford care workers (267 words)

Care workers have won a pay rise worth £19 million from one of Britain’s biggest care providers following a sustained campaign by the Salford City ...
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Lecturers set for further action (245 words)

Staff at 42 universities are being reballoted for strikes, with the UCU university and college lecturers’ union warning that up to 100 universities ...
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UK unemployment rate falls (186 words)

A continuing rise in employment and a further slowing in the rate of earnings growth (4.2% in the year to October) headlined last month’s ...
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Inflation jumps (71 words)

Inflation rates in the year to November were even higher than expected. At 7.1%, Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation is at its highest since 1989-1990 ...
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (410 words)

Inflation + 7.1%, Average earnings 4.2% ...
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Union news

Second union decides to cut donations to Labour (209 words)

A second union says it is cutting its donations to the Labour Party while remaining affiliated. ...
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Unite strengthens investigation into blacklisting collusion (172 words)

Unite has announced it is strengthening its investigation into alleged collusion with blacklisting in the construction industry by past or present ...
Open access

Union conducts ‘red wall’ tour (273 words)

The Unite general union last month conducted a tour of “red wall seats” as part of a campaign to protect the £20 pandemic uplift payment for ...
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PCS activists’ forum (87 words)

The PCS public and commercial services union is trialling a new forum to increase activist involvement in the union’s activities, especially from ...
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Union density (113 words)

The problem of low union density in the private sector can only be overcome if organising activity is stepped up in specific growth sectors, a recent ...
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TUC regional appointment (36 words)

Jay McKenna has been appointed as the TUC’s regional secretary for the North West of England, replacing Lynn Collins, who is on a second long-term ...
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European news

European Union plans action on gig economy workers (426 words)

The European Commission has presented proposals for measures to give new rights to platform workers — such as those working for Uber and Deliveroo ...
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German employment rights to be strengthened (231 words)

The new German coalition government, which took office last month, is committed to a series of measures that are likely to improve pay, reinforce ...
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Pay gap transparency (181 words)

The Council of the EU, made up of ministers from national governments, has reached a common position on a proposed new directive on greater pay ...
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Italian unions strike (48 words)

Two of Italy’s three main union confederations, CGIL and UIL, called their members out in a one-day general strike on 16 December. ...
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Water companies profit at our expense (2,074 words)

Since privatisation, water companies’ profits have continued to increase — together with household water bills and damage to the environment. ...
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Scotland: a Fair Work nation? (2,190 words)

The Scottish government sees Scotland as “leading the way in creating a wellbeing economy” via its Fair Work policy. Do unions agree? ...
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A shorter working week? (1,878 words)

A century ago, trade unions were instrumental in winning two days of leisure for workers. Now they are campaigning for a new three-day weekend and ...
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Law Matters

Case clarifies status of cancer as a disability (545 words)

A worker was entitled to rely on guidance on the Public Health England (PHE) website that a brain tumour was cancerous, and she was accordingly ...
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Trade union levy proceeds (122 words)

The government is to go ahead with plans to introduce a levy on trade unions to pay towards the costs of the Certification Officer, despite unions’ ...
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Unions seek judicial review over pensions (253 words)

Six trade unions — the FBU firefighters’, GMB and Unite general, PCS civil service, POA prison officers’ and RCN nurses’ unions — have ...
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Law Queries

Training and shift work (249 words)

Q. I work permanent night shifts, 10.30pm to 6.30am. I’ve been told I have to attend a training day which is to be held during the day from 10am to ...
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GDPR and mapping (342 words)

Q. We want to check our membership density in a small voluntary organisation. Can we ask one of our workplace contacts (a union member in a ...
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Compensation for changing shifts (205 words)

Q. About a year ago, there was a consultation over a change in hours from a 7am to 7pm shift to an 11am to 11pm one. We didn’t reach agreement, but ...
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Law Back-up

Aristocrat loses appeal following breach of code (910 words)

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has given guidance to tribunals over increasing an award for an employer’s failure to follow the Acas Code of ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Government guilty of ‘needless’ covid deaths (207 words)

The People’s Covid Inquiry, set up by the Keep Our NHS Public (KONP) campaign group to fill “the deafening silence” from government, last month ...
Open access

COVID lessons must be learned (276 words)

A new report from the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice campaign maps out what “one of the most significant and wide-ranging inquiries in ...
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Grenfell driven by deregulation agenda (217 words)

The Grenfell United bereaved families and survivors’ group, which is campaigning for “justice and change” following the deaths of 72 people in ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Pandemic and Brexit to shape priorities in 2022 (910 words)

Both the Covid pandemic and Brexit have influenced TUC and Hazards Campaign health and safety priorities for the year ahead. ...
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Equality news

Employers must break down menopause stigma (385 words)

One in four women are likely to leave the financial services workforce due to experiences related to the menopause, finds a report by women’s ...
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Older working people are victims of ‘blatant ageism’ (258 words)

A survey of 2,000 working people aged over 45 has found that in order to be considered for employment, almost half of respondents (44%) admitted to ...
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Young women face lack of accessible opportunities (227 words)

A lack of flexible and accessible employment opportunities is preventing young women from finding or staying in work, says research by the Young ...
Open access

Workplace Back-up

Executive pay bonuses: fair and proportionate? (895 words)

Most chief executives in the UK’s top companies receive performance-related payments as part of their pay package. But is this always deserved? ...
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e-views (474 words)

Shadow IT is the use of technology, such as cloud-based software, without the approval or oversight from the organisation’s IT department. Some ...
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News from LRD

LRD annual general meeting (98 words)

The 2022 annual general meeting of the Labour Research Department (LRD) will be held on Monday 16 May 2022 starting at 2.00pm. The AGM will once ...
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