Labour Research March 2022

How well are women represented in UK unions? - our biennial Women in Unions survey examines union efforts to improve women’s participation and representation in unions; Acting to support workers through the menopause - the menopause has been moving up the workplace agenda. Yet more can be done to support those undergoing menopause; Health and safety lessons from the pandemic - the Covid pandemic exposed a crisis in occupational health and safety. What are the key health and safety lessons we’ve learned?


Retail union wins case over Tesco fire and rehire tactics (362 words)

The Usdaw shopworkers’ union has won a landmark case against Tesco in a High Court battle to protect its workers from unfair fire and rehire ...
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Confirmation of inquest into death of transport worker welcomed (255 words)

Confirmation that a public inquest is to be held into the death of transport worker Belly Mujinga has been welcomed by the TSSA white collar ...
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‘Wage restraint’ slammed (234 words)

The GMB general union has written to Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey, inviting him to work as a carer for the day before he talks about ...
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Firefighters warn over cuts (239 words)

The FBU firefighters’ union has blamed government cuts for a slowing of fire response times. ...
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Major campaign sees victory for reinstated bus driver (302 words)

A bus driver sacked for being “too short” has been reinstated after a major union campaign. ...
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Volunteers needed for Tolpuddle (245 words)

The South West TUC is looking for volunteers to help run this year’s Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival. ...
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Inflation trumps earnings growth (179 words)

Inflation continues to trump overall earnings growth, despite seemingly favourable labour market conditions. ...
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Historical high for RPI (69 words)

The first inflation figures for 2022 saw another historically high figure for Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation: 7.8% — its highest since 1991. ...
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Key economic indicators

Key economic indicators (409 words)

Inflation +7.8%, Average earnings +4.9% ...
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Union news

Tensions increase between some unions and Labour (448 words)

Strains between some unions and the Labour Party increased last month as general union Unite and rail union ASLEF both threatened to sever ties. ...
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Taskforce boosts unions in US (210 words)

A taskforce chaired by US vice president Kamala Harris has made 70 policy recommendations to the president to foster unionisation of federal ...
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Reps support merger (79 words)

The TSSA transport union’s planned merger with the US International Brotherhood of Boilermakers union (IBB) has received overwhelming endorsement ...
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TUC slams new levy (118 words)

The TUC has slammed the government’s proposals to impose a levy on unions to cover the costs of the union regulator, describing them as “cynical ...
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MU election (60 words)

The 31,000 members of the Musicians’ Union are currently voting for a new general secretary to replace retiring Horace Trubridge. ...
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European news

EU-UK trade agreement offers some rights protection (435 words)

A new TUC report finds that the agreement signed by the UK and the EU at the end of the Brexit negotiations can be used to protect workers’ rights ...
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Largest German union confederation set to have first female boss (187 words)

The DGB, Germany’s main union confederation with 5.7 million members, is set to elect a woman president for the first time. ...
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Concern over Belgian four-day week plan (105 words)

Belgian unions have not welcomed the proposal from the government allowing workers to cut their working week from five to four days by increasing ...
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New wages agreement in Portugal (137 words)

The new government of Portugal aims to have signed a new wages and competitiveness agreement by July. ...
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What’s the outlook for women in our unions? (2,513 words)

The biennial Labour Research survey of women’s representation and participation in unions takes stock of what progress unions are making in this ...
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Menopause and the workplace (2,146 words)

For workers experiencing symptoms of the menopause, a supportive workplace can be a huge relief. But is this always the case? ...
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What have we learned from the pandemic? (2,263 words)

Labour Research looks at some of the key health and safety lessons unions and safety campaigners say Covid has taught us — and reforms they’re ...
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Law Matters

Gig worker was entitled to recover holiday pay (396 words)

Workers can now recover payment for annual leave taken, but not paid, dating back to the start of their employment, the Court of Appeal has ruled in ...
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Wages deduction claim fails (210 words)

A worker can only bring an unlawful deduction of wages claim under the Employment Rights Act 1996 for work they have done under their contract of ...
Open access

Agency workers ruling (260 words)

The Court of Appeal has confirmed that the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 do not give agency workers the right to apply for a directly employed ...
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Law Queries

Repayment of training costs (409 words)

Q. I’ve resigned from my job and my employer says I must repay the cost of a £600 training course I attended last year. My manager says it will be ...
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Disciplinary charges (373 words)

Q. One of our members has been put on a disciplinary for what amounts to making a mistake on an order. During the investigation, their manager found ...
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Law Back-up

Sick pay and unvaccinated staff: what are the issues? (903 words)

An increasing number of employers are reducing contractual sick pay to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for employees who have not been vaccinated. ...
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Health & Safety Matters

Damage ‘already done’ despite u-turn on jabs (290 words)

Health unions last month welcomed a last-minute government u-turn on mandatory vaccination for health and social care workers after health secretary ...
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Sexual harassment surveys (236 words)

Wales TUC has launched a new survey into sexual harassment at work following an increase in workers reporting the issue to their unions over the ...
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Bullying (82 words)

The UCU has questioned why senior managers are still in their jobs at Imperial College London following full publication of a report which found they ...
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Global Covid response needed (66 words)

The BMA doctors’ union has backed a call by more than 320 scientists and public health experts for the government to allow low- and middle-income ...
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Warning on ScotRail (80 words)

The RMT rail union has warned the Scottish Government that a “new beginning” for ScotRail, which enters public ownership on 1 April 2022, must ...
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Health & Safety Back-up

Campaign highlights links to breast cancer (856 words)

To mark World Cancer Day last month, the Breast Cancer UK charity launched a new video series highlighting the links between endocrine disrupting ...
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Equality news

‘Glacial’ pace of change for women in top jobs (414 words)

There is an “unacceptable” lack of women, particularly women of colour, in positions of power, according to The Fawcett Society gender equality ...
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Migrants face pandemic in a ‘hostile environment’ (219 words)

Vulnerable undocumented migrants have been “overrepresented” in jobs on the frontline of the Covid crisis, increasing their exposure to Covid, ...
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Awareness needed for workers with cancer (223 words)

The proportion of people living with cancer who return successfully to work remains “disappointingly low”. ...
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Workplace Back-up

What is the real rate of inflation in the UK? (915 words)

We are in the grip of a cost-of-living crisis which has re-ignited arguments about the official inflation statistics. Are they up to the job? ...
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e-views (402 words)

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the art of getting web pages to rank near the top of the results displayed in search engines like Google and Bing. ...
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News from LRD

LRD annual general meeting (40 words)

The annual general meeting of the Labour Research Department (LRD) will be held online on Monday 16 May from2.00pm. All LRD members and affiliates ...
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