Workplace Report January 2021

Where next for the minimum wage? - we look at the National Minimum Wage, its trajectory and where unions stand on this important statutory right; Covid adds to ‘out of control’ mental health crisis - even before the pandemic, work-related levels of stress, anxiety and depression were at a 20-year high. We look at how unions are responding to a crisis being made even worse by Covid; Latest case law on discrimination

Pay and prices

Earnings growth continues (119 words)

The picture for average weekly earnings is encouraging this month, with all sectors showing positive growth ...
Open access

Labour Research Department’s Payline database (233 words)

The figures show median (midpoint) pay settlements among all the agreements monitored through LRD’s Payline database. The weighted median (by ...
Open access

Average weekly earnings (AWE) (241 words)

Regular pay excluding bonuses. Percentage annual increases ...
Open access

Full-time weekly average earnings (33 words)

Open access

XpertHR (21 words)

Median increases for three months to end of Sept 2020 ...
Open access

Prices (77 words)

1 Retail Prices Index (RPI), 
Jan ’87=100 ...
Open access

2021 forecasts (39 words)

1 Fourth quarter ...
Open access

Bargaining news

Action needed on Scotland’s ‘fair work’ vision (689 words)

Good work and fair work have been on the public agenda since before the Covid crisis: the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices, the Fair Work ...
Subscribers only

Pharmacists win new agreements (374 words)

The Pharmacists’ Defence Association has won above-inflation pay rises for former employees of Boots, and is working towards recognition at the ...
Subscribers only

Outsourced drivers’ fair pay fights (472 words)

Six days of strike action planned by outsourced Sainsbury’s drivers, members of the Unite general union, were called off in December. The 12 ...
Subscribers only

Industrial action at BCM Fareva suspended (290 words)

Retail union Usdaw has suspended planned industrial action at BCM Fareva, which supplies skin care and pharmaceutical products to Boots, after the ...
Subscribers only

Further education unions angered by ‘derisory’ pay offer (549 words)

Further education employers’ group the Association of Colleges (AoC) has offered staff a 1% pay increase, despite a significant £224m increase in ...
Subscribers only

Victory for Great Ormond Street cleaners (369 words)

Hundreds of cleaners outsourced to multinational contractor OCS at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH) will now be brought in-house as ...
Subscribers only

Strike action at ‘super council’ (117 words)

Northern Ireland council workers, members of all four staff trade unions, Unite, GMB, NIPSA and SIPTU, went on strike in December in a dispute over ...
Open access

Redundancies avoided (166 words)

The Community union has negotiated a suspension of planned redundancies at UK Windows and Doors Group’s Caerphilly site. The action affects around 1 ...
Open access

Equality news

Young women ‘paying the price of pandemic’ (421 words)

Up to 1.5 million young women have lost income since the start of the pandemic, and over two thirds (69%) of young women claiming benefits this year ...
Subscribers only

New guidance on tackling racial harassment in education (345 words)

Unions have welcomed the publication of new guidance on tackling racial harassment in the higher education sector. ...
Subscribers only

ONS report exposes stark ethnicity wealth gap (292 words)

Households with a White British head are approximately nine times as likely to be in the top fifth of total wealth (wealth above £865,400) as those ...
Subscribers only

Learning and training news

Think tank calls for £5bn jobs push (414 words)

An independent think tank is urging the government to invest £5 billion over the next four years in a “Work & Skills” initiative in the wake ...
Subscribers only

Learning ‘should be a statutory right’ (131 words)

A campaign for a statutory right to learn for every UK citizen throughout their lives has been launched by academics, politicians and campaigners ...
Open access

Recruitment and organisation news

Health and safety was catalyst for unionisation push (539 words)

General union Unite has signed a substantial new union recognition agreement with the Peabody Group housing association on behalf of nearly 3,000 ...
Subscribers only

European news

Dutch postal workers get Covid bonus (251 words)

Dutch postal workers have agreed to accept a new pay deal with their employer PostNL, which includes a bonus for working through the pandemic, and an ...
Subscribers only

Irish unions agree new public sector deal (229 words)

Union negotiators have reached agreement in principle on a new two-year pay deal for workers in the public sector in Ireland, which is likely to ...
Open access

French unions and employers reach remote working deal (616 words)

Unions and employers in France have reached agreement on a new national framework for remote working, generally described as telework (télétravail) ...
Subscribers only

Law - Discrimination

Discrimination - the law (505 words)

Discrimination law is found in the Equality Act 2010 ( EA10). The EA10 lists nine “protected characteristics”: age; disability; gender ...
Subscribers only

Changes to probation pay scale were not unlawful age discrimination (1,231 words)

The claimant, Mr Heskett, had been a probation officer since 2006. In 2016, aged 38, he brought employment tribunal (ET) proceedings for indirect age ...
Subscribers only

Employee with paranoid delusions was not disabled (1,403 words)

The claimant, Mr Sullivan, worked in financial services for his employer, Bury Street Capital (Bury), for 11 years until his dismissal in September 20 ...
Subscribers only

Jaguar Land Rover to pay £180,000 compensation for transgender harassment (1,575 words)

The claimant in this case, Rose Taylor, worked for Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) for around seven years as an engineer at their Gaydon site, where she ...
Subscribers only

Health & safety news

Union demands inquiry into Amazon work conditions (198 words)

General union the GMB demanded a parliamentary inquiry into “dehumanising” working conditions at online retail giant Amazon warehouses as part of ...
Open access

Midwives facing abuse following necessary rule changes (209 words)

Seven out of 10 midwives have experienced abuse from pregnant women, their partners and families as a result of changes to attendance rules during ...
Open access

Unions act against violence against women (264 words)

The four trade union federations of Great Britain and the island of Ireland, the TUC, STUC, WTUC and ICTU, all led by women, issued a joint call for ...
Subscribers only

Drivers denied basic right of access to toilets (291 words)

The general union Unite has said that when it surveyed 6,000 professional driver members it found that seven in 10 did not have access to toilets and ...
Subscribers only

Health & safety - HSE Monitor

Action should follow research showing shock cancer risk (281 words)

firefighters’ union the FBU has called on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and fire services to implement recommendations to protect ...
Subscribers only

‘Covid-secure’ workplace guidance updated (188 words)

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has updated its workplace guidance on Working safely during coronavirus (Covid-19) ...
Open access

Statement on Covid and BAME workers ‘a whitewash’ (254 words)

A Consensus statement from the HSE, Public Health England and the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, Mitigation of risks of COVID-19 in occupational ...
Subscribers only

Government ‘admits High Court defeat on health and safety’ (101 words)

The government must take action to grant workers in the gig economy the rights they are entitled to under European Union (EU) health and safety law, ...
Open access

HSE to prosecute two companies over multi-fatality wall collapse (171 words)

The HSE has announced it will prosecute two companies after five workers were killed and a sixth seriously injured when a wall collapsed at a waste ...
Open access


Where next for the minimum wage? (3,183 words)

Last month, the government belatedly announced the National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates for 2021. The uplift from this year is considerably lower than ...
Subscribers only

Covid adds to ‘out of control’ mental health crisis (2,266 words)

Even before the Covid pandemic, work-related levels of stress, anxiety and depression were at a 20-year high. As evidence mounts of the impact the ...
Open access