Workplace Report January 2016

Food and drink - Workers in the food and drink chain of production look set to benefit from the introduction of the National Living Wage; Pay and prices across Europe - Very low or negative inflation in 2015 has meant real pay rises in most EU countries. The omens for 2016 are not good; Latest case law on discrimination

Pay and prices

Settlements stick at 2.5%
 (242 words)

There was no movement in the overall median for collectively agreed settlements in December and little joy in official earnings figures.
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Labour Research Department’s Payline Database 
 (225 words)

Percentage increases on lowest basic rates (by agreements covered)
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Full-time weekly average earnings
 (42 words)

Source: ASHE 2015 uprated by AWE. ...
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Average weekly earnings (AWE)
 (152 words)

Total pay including bonuses. Percentage annual increases
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XpertHR (20 words)

Median increases for three months up to December 2015 ...
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Prices (77 words)

1 Retail Prices Index (RPI), 
Jan ’87=100 ...
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Inflation forecasts (36 words)

Fourth quarter 2016 ...
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Bargaining news

Unions sign Manchester devolution agreement
 (755 words)

A protocol on “joint working on workforce matters” signed by trade unions and the interim mayor of Manchester in December seeks to address some ...
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Fujitsu staff get increase to Living Wage rate
 (357 words)

Low-paid workers employed by electronics and IT multinational Fujitsu received a pay increase at the end of last year worth over 5% thanks to an ...
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Some good news and some bad news for Welsh care workers
 (379 words)

The Welsh government has announced proposals to restrict the use of zero-hour contracts and ensure employers pay domiciliary care workers the ...
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Steel jobs top priority for unions
 (291 words)

Efforts to save steel jobs have become the top priority this month following the announcement that Tata is to cut a further 1,050 jobs. It’s the ...
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Arqiva staff accept improved offer over pension scheme change 
 (408 words)

Members of the media and entertainment union BECTU at Arqiva have voted to accept a deal which ends a long-running dispute over the closure of the ...
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Romec back in-house 
 (334 words)

The CWU communication workers’ union has secured an agreement with Royal Mail to bring its facilities and maintenance operations Romec back ...
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Agricultural Wages Board to be retained in Scotland
 (267 words)

The Scottish Agricultural Wages Board will continue to protect low paid farm workers in Scotland.
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Equality news

‘Barrier bosses’ hold back move to greater gender equality
 (454 words)

Up to 70% of men now believe gender equality is better for the economy but a significant minority of managers are blocking women’s progress, ...
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Cameron’s words on learning English don’t match actions
 (280 words)

The prime minister’s call for Muslim women to learn English has exposed funding problems for speakers of foreign languages says the UCU university ...
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Disability guide
 (134 words)

Employment relations service Acas has launched a new guide to help employers and managers understand the basics of dealing with disability ...
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State pension age review
 (120 words)

In light of the parliamentary debate on the impact of equalisation of the state pension age on women and ahead of the state pension age review, TUC ...
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Learning and training news

New think tank champions lifelong learning
 (296 words)

The Learning and Work Institute, a new independent research, development and campaigning organisation, was launched this month, with the aim of ...
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Hinkley Point gets learning centre
 (98 words)

A new union learning centre at the Hinkley Point nuclear plant will help create hundreds of apprenticeships and provide training and learning for ...
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Recruitment and organisation news

TUC calls on members to go to Big Workplace Meeting
 (419 words)

Members and activists from all different unions up and down the country are being urged to hold meetings at 12.30pm on 9 February as part of a ...
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Veolia recognition
 (54 words)

Managers’ and specialists’ union Prospect has signed a voluntary recognition agreement with energy-from-waste company Veolia, covering nine ...
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Union rep awards
 (59 words)

Communication Workers’ Union rep Kevin Davies won the Midlands TUC 2015 organising rep award last month after helping organise 50 recruiting events ...
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European news

New right to work from home proves popular in the Netherlands
 (410 words)

Workers in the Netherlands with six months’ service, in companies with 10 or more employees, have had the right to ask to work from home from 1 ...
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Key year for Italian negotiations
 (403 words)

With more than 7.5 million Italian workers set to negotiate new collective agreements in the next few months, 2016 looks likely to be a key year for ...
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First collective agreement for Czech civil servants 
 (156 words)

The government and four unions have reached the first ever service-wide collective agreement for central government employees in the Czech Republic. ...
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EU agreement on rights in central government
 (111 words)

Unions and employers at European level have reached agreement on a new framework of information and consultation rights for employees in central ...
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Law - Discrimination

Discrimination - the law (954 words)

Discrimination law is found in the Equality Act 2010 (EA 2010). The EA 2010 lists nine “protected characteristics”: age; disability; gender ...
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Long-term absence and proportionality of dismissal
 (457 words)

Mrs Harris started working for Monmouthshire County Council in 1992. She was employed as a Senior Education Welfare Officer. ...
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Linking of pay to service was not indirect discrimination 
 (594 words)

Mr Naeem was employed as a full-time Muslim prison service chaplain in 2004. Before this, he worked on a sessional basis. 
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Instruction to speak English at work not discriminatory
 (312 words)

Ms Kelly was born in Russia and Russian was her native language. 
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Duty to make reasonable adjustments over absence
 (623 words)

Ms Griffiths was employed as an administrative assistant at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Griffiths had post viral fatigue and ...
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Negative reference over disability absence was discriminatory
 (696 words)

Ms Pnaiser was employed by Coventry City Council (the council). She suffered from a disability. She was absent from work for significant periods of ...
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No disadvantage in being placed in redeployment pool
 (519 words)

Mr Muzi-Mabaso was employed by the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in September 2004 at Grade AA. He suffered from depression and was disabled for ...
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Less favourable treatment over failure to investigate grievance
 (316 words)

Mr Singh was a security guard of Indian ethnic origin. It was alleged Singh smelt of alcohol while at work. ...
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Health & safety news

Unions respond to floods with new safety guidance
 (417 words)

Following the recent devastating flooding, the TUC has revised and republished its health and safety advice on flooded areas. 
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Ballot on strike action over rail safety in Scotland
 (324 words)

Overstretched staff at Scotland’s rail control centres say there is no slack left in the system and they are prepared to take strike action to ...
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Attacks on postal staff 
 (161 words)

The CWU communications union says that deliveries were halted in several streets in Stoke-on-Trent in the West Midlands following two attacks on ...
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EIS secures increase in compensation
 (131 words)

The Scottish teachers’ union, EIS, has won compensation totalling over £290,000 for teachers and lecturers over the past year, a £110,000 ...
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Health & safety - HSE Monitor

Record fines over safety failures and deaths
 (563 words)

The courts were busy in December handing out substantial fines over health and safety failures.
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TUC worries over GLA reforms
 (195 words)

The TUC is concerned that the government’s reforms to the powers, functions and scope of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) will lead to ...
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Welsh Assembly amends e-cigarettes proposals
 (72 words)

Last month, Mark Drakeford, the health and social services minister announced that the Welsh government would amend proposals to restrict the use of ...
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Heavier penalties for phone use while driving 
 (113 words)

Drivers who endanger lives by using hand held mobile phones while driving will face increased penalties under government proposals. 
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Flood recovery advice 
 (69 words)

Following severe flooding across parts of northern England, Scotland and Wales last month, the Health and Safety Executive has issued guidance to ...
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From field or factory to table — pay in food and drink
 (2,883 words)

The food industry is a big employer with a high profile in the economy. Workplace Report looks at current trends in its collective agreements ...
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Most EU states enjoy real pay rises on back of low inflation (1,939 words)

Last year saw a further recovery in real pay in most EU countries. However, with the exception of some countries in Central and Eastern Europe, real ...
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