Workplace Report February 2021

Pandemic shows why we should ❤ unions - with Covid ranging and frontline workers under such pressure it might seem an odd time to celebrate ❤ Unions week, but in fact it’s a good time to remember all that unions have achieved since the pandemic first hit; Europe’s pay increases despite the pandemic - Despite the pandemic, pay grew in both money and real terms across Europe in 2020, but Covid-19 clearly had an effect in both delaying settlements and pushing down increases; Latest case law on dismissal, detriment and redundancy

Pay and prices

New factors affect earnings growth (124 words)

Official figures for average weekly earnings in November for regular pay (excluding bonuses) in the whole economy rose by a healthy 4.2% from 3.5% ...
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Labour Research Department’s Payline database (221 words)

Percentage increases on lowest basic rates (by agreements covered) ...
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Average weekly earnings (AWE) (239 words)

Regular pay excluding bonuses. Percentage annual increases ...
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Full-time weekly average earnings (33 words)

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XpertHR (21 words)

Median increases for three months to end of January 2021 ...
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Prices (76 words)

1 Retail Prices Index (RPI), 
Jan ’87=100 ...
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2021 forecasts (40 words)

1 Fourth quarter ...
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Bargaining news

Are workers’ rights under threat? (844 words)

Within weeks of the UK formally leaving the European Union on 31 January 2020 a threat to workers’ rights emerged. Denials and condemnations ...
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‘Biggest union meeting ever’ helps force government U-turn (528 words)

Last month, thousands of teachers and support staff helped force the government to move to remote teaching for most primary school pupils by sending ...
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Bakers’ union members named as unsung pandemic heroes (203 words)

Members of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) have been named as “unsung heroes” of the pandemic by Northamptonshire County ...
Open access

Minimum wage breakers shamed (281 words)

On New Year’s Eve, the government finally resumed its publication of a list of employers who have failed to pay the National Minimum Wage (NMW), ...
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CWU ballots on hard-won Royal Mail agreement (466 words)

Royal Mail workers are currently voting on a proposed “Key Principles Framework (The Pathway to Change)” agreement negotiated by the CWU ...
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Second week of strikes challenges Centrica (344 words)

general union the GMB announced in January that over 7,000 British Gas workers were set to walk out over bosses’ controversial “fire and ...
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Campaign calls for new deal for workers (293 words)

Retail and distribution workers in Northern Ireland from the Usdaw, Unite, GMB, Siptu and Mandate unions are demanding a “new deal” that will ...
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Equality news

Top CEOs earn average UK salary in 34 hours (288 words)

The average FTSE 100 CEO’s earnings for 2021 surpassed the average annual wage for a full-time worker in the UK on 6 January, according to think ...
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BAME workers’ mental health hit by financial worries (353 words)

BAME workers’ mental health has suffered the most during the Covid-19 outbreak, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures looking ...
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Urgent action needed to avoid youth unemployment crisis (393 words)

One million young people could be locked out of education, employment and training as a result of the pandemic, a report by the Learning and Work ...
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Learning and training news

MPs calls for learning boost (419 words)

A community learning centre in every town, individual learning accounts and boosting part-time higher education and employer-led training should be ...
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BAE takes on trainees (133 words)

General union Unite has welcomed the decision by BAE Systems to recruit 1,250 new trainees in 2021 as “much-needed positive news for the UK’s ...
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Recruitment and organisation news

Research identifies membership lessons (349 words)

While many unions have increased their membership since the start of the Covid pandemic, a few are experiencing declines, according to research ...
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Pharmacists seek agreement after CAC win (112 words)

The PDAU pharmacists’ union paused its statutory claim for recognition at the Lloyds chemist chain in December to give it and the company a chance ...
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European news

Austrian union signs comprehensive deal on tests and masks (319 words)

In an unusual move, the Austrian union confederation, ÖGB, and the employers have signed a so-called “general collective agreement” on Covid-19. ...
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Unions walk away from two-year deal in Belgium (394 words)

Belgium’s three union confederations, the Christian CSC, the socialist FGTB and the liberal CGSLB, have all agreed to end, at least temporarily, ...
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Spain extends job preservation scheme (85 words)

The government, unions and employers in Spain have agreed to extend their job preservation scheme until the end of May. The scheme, known as ERTE, ...
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Air France agrees deal to avoid redundancies (109 words)

Air France has agreed separate job-security deals with unions covering both ground and flight personnel. Using the APLD long-term partial employment ...
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Above-inflation increase at RWE (108 words)

Unions at German energy company RWE have agreed a pay deal which delivers a staged 3.7% increase and a large lump sum. It runs for 25 months from 1 ...
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Law - Dismissal

Dismissal — the law (334 words)

f Employees who are dismissed unfairly can go to an employment tribunal if they have been working for at least two years. Some specific types of ...
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No choice but to return after successful appeal (802 words)

The claimant, Mr Kilroy, had 28 years’ secondary school teaching experience. He was acting principal when his school was taken over by a body known ...
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Constructive dismissal – acceptance of breach (463 words)

The claimant, Mrs Ure, was employed by Chemcem Scotland, a civil engineering company. She was also the daughter of the majority shareholder, Mr ...
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Law - Detriment

Detriment — the law (199 words)

A detriment is unfair action (or a decision not to act) by an employer that falls short of dismissal. Examples include refusing training or ...
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Imposing new contract was a “one-off” act (755 words)

The claimant, Mr Ikejiaku, worked as a senior lecturer for his employer, the British Institute of Technology (BIT). Ikejiaku made two protected ...
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Email list warning was trade union detriment (854 words)

Mr Brown was an IT administrator in the Information Services Division (ISD) of University College London (UCL) and an elected University and College ...
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Law - Redundancy

Redundancy— the law (259 words)

A redundancy situation exists where an employer closes or intends to close the workplace or reduce the number of employees doing a particular kind of ...
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Employer’s motive irrelevant to whether genuine redundancy situation exists (1,014 words)

The claimant, Ms Jackson, was managing director (MD) of Berkeley Catering, the respondent in this case. She worked alongside Mr Patel, the business ...
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Health & safety news

NHS staff ‘under siege and under-protected’ (304 words)

Health unions say overwhelmed and exhausted NHS staff working in a system under siege are “crying out for better protection”. ...
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Unions demand safety changes to tackle new variant (464 words)

Unions representing groups of frontline key workers have called on employers to put in place safer working practices to protect workers in the light ...
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FBU accuses employers over Covid safety (161 words)

The FBU firefighters’ union and the TUC called on the fire service National Employers to get back around the table after unilaterally scrapping a ...
Open access

Unite backs industrial injury benefits plan (86 words)

Unite Scotland has signalled its support for plans to modernise industrial injuries benefits. The proposed Scottish Employment Injuries Advisory ...
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Health & safety - HSE Monitor

‘Not one company’ prosecuted over Covid safety breaches (415 words)

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has not prosecuted a single company for breaches of Covid-related health and safety law, according to the ...
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Unions set out demands on testing (342 words)

Headteachers’ union the NAHT has warned the government’s mass-testing plans could be left in tatters as a result of “ongoing confusion ...
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Welsh rule boost gets union thumbs up (303 words)

Wales TUC has welcomed news that the Welsh government will introduce stronger Covid legislation to ensure that workplaces and shops are safer. ...
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Pandemic shows why we should ❤ Unions (3,197 words)

With Covid-19 raging and frontline workers under such pressure it might seem an odd time to celebrate ❤ Unions week, but in fact it’s a good time ...
Open access

Europe’s pay increases despite the pandemic (1,958 words)

Despite the pandemic, pay grew in both money and real terms across Europe in 2020 – but Covid-19 clearly had an effect in both delaying settlements ...
Subscribers only