Workplace Report July 2016

Dress codes - Summer heatwaves and ill-judged demands have put employer dress codes in the spotlight; Social media - Unions are using social media to reach out to their members and their campaigning messages to the general public; Latest case law on discrimination

Pay and prices

Rise in deals stuck at 2.0% 
 (248 words)

Updating of settlements has led to the percentage rise remaining unchanged in June.
Open access

Labour Research Department’s Payline Database 
 (227 words)

Percentage increases on lowest basic rates (by agreements covered)
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Full-time weekly average earnings
 (41 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 (19 words)

Median increases for three months to June 2016 ...
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Prices (77 words)

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

Fourth quarter 2016 ...
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Bargaining news

Four-year pay deal at DWP in return for flexibility
 (857 words)

The biggest employer in the civil service, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), has struck a four-year pay deal for the majority of its 87,000 ...
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BECTU brings BBC to heel over buyout contracts
 (365 words)

Following pressure from the media and entertainment union BECTU, the BBC has said it will investigate the use of “buyout contracts” aimed at ...
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Performance management -
 a return to managing people 
 (391 words)

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA), which employs 3,500 staff as an executive agency of HM Revenue and Customs, is tearing up the rule book on ...
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Revised offer gets nod from TSSA members
 (281 words)

The TSSA transport staff union has formally accepted a revised pay settlement applying to managerial pay bands 1-4 at Network Rail, after a previous ...
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End to performance management scheme a fillip to union campaign 
 (387 words)

A despised performance management scheme is to end at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) after the permanent secretary, Stephen Lovegrove, reached an ...
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Fox Wire workers finally get payout after firm goes bust 
 (308 words)

After a long, drawn out battle, former employees of wire manufacturers Fox Wire in Stocksbridge, South Yorkshire, will receive up to eight weeks of ...
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Pay cut at M&S
 (143 words)

Shopworkers’ union Usdaw and the GMB general union have protested at plans by retailers Marks and Spencer to cut pay premiums and pension ...
Open access

Workers on the board?
 (119 words)

Theresa May, the new Conservative prime minister, has promised a shake-up in corporate governance, saying workers and customers should have places on ...
Open access

Equality news

Fourteen steps to improve access to apprenticeships
 (372 words)

Recommendations from a taskforce into improving access to apprenticeships for people with learning difficulties have all been accepted by the ...
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Employers recognised for work-life balance policies
 (303 words)

The annual list of the UK’s most flexible and family-friendly employers from charity Working Families has all of this year’s winners offering ...
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Increase in homeworking over 10 years
 (199 words)

The number of employees who say they usually work from home has increased by a fifth (19%) over the past decade, according to new analysis published ...
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Disabled workers
 (98 words)

A new approach is needed to prevent those with disabilities leaving the workforce if government is to have any hope of meeting its disability ...
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Learning and training news

Broad strategy needed for adult education (285 words)

A national and regional strategy for adult education, employability, health and wellbeing is one of five recommendations of a Warwick Institute for ...
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No delay on apprenticeship levy 
 (129 words)

The government is not anticipating any change to either the timing or nature of the apprenticeship levy as a result of the UK’s decision to leave ...
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Recruitment and organisation news

New methods to help reps
 (369 words)

Public services union UNISON is to looking to develop new methods of supporting and training reps and other activists because of the increasing ...
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Five recognition deals for Unite
 (110 words)

General union Unite has reached five recognition deals through the statutory procedure recently, four of them without the need for a ballot.
Open access

European news

Spanish Car workers set fair with long-term settlements
 (492 words)

Spain’s largest car producer SEAT, part of the German Volkswagen group, has signed a five-year deal, which guarantees real pay levels and offers ...
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Real-terms increase in German chemical industry
 (235 words)

The German chemical workers’ union, the IGBCE, has signed an agreement with the employers in Germany which provides a substantial real terms ...
Open access

French public servants get first increase for six years
 (140 words)

The index used as a basis for setting pay for French public servants has been increased by 0.6% this month, ending a pay freeze which has lasted for ...
Open access

Minority of Italian firms involved in bargaining
 (153 words)

Only one in five companies in Italy is involved in bargaining at company level and industry level agreements remain crucial for setting overall pay ...
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Law - Discrimination

Discrimination - the law (927 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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Christian teacher dismissed over refusal to leave husband 
 (300 words)

Ms Pendleton was employed as a teacher by Derbyshire County Council. Her husband was a head teacher in another school. He was subject to an ...
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Is belief in proper use of public funds a philosophical belief? 
 (375 words)

Mr Harron worked for Dorset Police force. He believed that public service was improperly wasteful of money. Harron felt he had to express his views ...
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Age limit in health insurance scheme not discriminatory
 (304 words)

Ms Smith was employed by Gartner UK Ltd in 1996, although she had continuous employment from 1989. One of her contractual benefits was a private ...
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Firm failed to make reasonable adjustment over working late
 (359 words)

Mr Carreras was employed by United First Partners Research (UFPR) as an analyst. He often worked late. 
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Material differences between comparators explored
 (491 words)

Mrs George was employed as a midwife by the Croydon Health Services Trust (the Trust) since 2005. In 2012, there was an incident relating to ...
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No discrimination in ill treatment of domestic workers
 (625 words)

These two cases, considered together by the Supreme Court, involved migrant workers in very similar situations. In this report, we focus on Ms ...
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Information not allegation key to ‘protected disclosure’
 (671 words)

Ms Kilraine was employed as education achievement project manager by the London Borough of Wandsworth (LBW). In the five or six years preceding her ...
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Broad sweep to linkage between disability and conduct
 (310 words)

Mr Risby is disabled and he uses a wheelchair. He was employed by London Borough of Waltham Forest as a deputy risk and insurance manager. ...
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Health & safety news

Cuts hit council staff and lead to rising stress levels 
 (327 words)

Council workers are experiencing unprecedented levels of pressure and stress as a result of government cuts, according to a report by public services ...
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Rise in Brexit hate crime 
 (189 words)

Front-line staff who work with the public are facing an increase in reported hate crime following the UK referendum vote to leave the European Union ...
Open access

Get killer out of schools
 (169 words)

Unions used Action Mesotheliom Day at the beginning of the month to renew their calls for asbestos to be removed from schools following the death of ...
Open access

Too many dog attacks
 (131 words)

The latest statistics on dog attacks show that while there has been a 10% reduction in the number of incidents, there were still 2,600 reported ...
Open access

Trans-friendly workplaces
 (155 words)

Physiotherapists’ union CSP is calling for simple changes to make health and social care environments more inclusive for transgender staff and ...
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Health & safety - HSE Monitor

Work fatality figures set alarm bells ringing for campaigners 
 (364 words)

Provisional Health and Safety Executive figures show an increase in the number of people killed while at work, from 142 in 2014-15 to 144 last year. ...
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Exit strategy from glyphosate needed, says union body
 (316 words)

The European agricultural workers’ trade union federation EFFAT has called on the European Commission to set out a clear exit strategy for the ...
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High Court win over prison attacks
 (291 words)

In a landmark legal victory for the POA prison officers’ union, the High Court ruled last month that prisoners can be prosecuted for attacks on ...
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Heads not heels should rule when drawing up dress code
 (3,430 words)

The TUC is calling for a relaxation of dress codes at work as the country currently sits in a heatwave and the ‘heels case’ of Nicola Thorp is ...
Open access

Unions and how they are using social media to reach out
 (2,195 words)

The rapid growth in social media sites has provided unions and union reps with new opportunities to link up with their members and to reach out to ...
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