Blog

Brexit, the gig economy and the rise of the machines

12 November 2018

By Sarah Glenister, National Development Officer, Institute of Employment Rights

Every autumn, for over a decade, employment law experts have gathered for the Institute of Employment Rights’ (IER’s) annual Employment Law Update — a chance to discuss the year’s developments in labour law, as well as consider future opportunities and challenges.

Bellman – more on vicarious liability

26 October 2018

By Paul Scholey and Tony Rippon, Morrish Solicitors

Bellman v Northampton Recruitment Ltd [2018] EWCA Civ 2214

Following a recruitment agency’s Christmas party, to which all employees and their partners were invited, a number of the guests including Mr Major, the Managing Director (“MD”) of the agency, and Mr Bellman, an employee of the agency and the Claimant, continued their celebrations at a hotel bar where some of the employees were staying at the agency’s expense. This was not a planned extension of the party but the agency did pay for the taxi fares to get there and the majority of drinks.

Giving 'gig' workers rights isn't radical, it would bring the UK up to international 'norms'

19 October 2018

By John Hendy QC, Professor Keith Ewing and Carolyn Jones

This week has seen 'gig' workers and people on zero-hours contracts take a stand against low pay and insecure jobs, with strikes held from Brighton to Glasgow among staff at TGI Friday's, McDonald's, Wetherspoons, Uber and Deliveroo. Joining the picket line at Leicester Square, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell promised to meet the needs of the strikers through employment law reforms, such as rolling out sectoral collective bargaining, establishing a Ministry of Labour, and improving workers' access to trade unions.

Workers on boards and 'inclusive ownership funds': How should it be written into law?

12 October 2018

By Dr Ewan McGaughey, Senior Lecturer at the School of Law, King’s College, London, and research associate at the Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge

Democratic socialism in the 21st century must answer one critical question: who gets the votes in the economy?

Mencap v Tomlinson-Blake: a disaster for the sustainability of social care?

12 October 2018

By Dr Lydia Hayes, Reader in Law, Cardiff University

The decision of the Court of Appeal in Mencap v Tomlinson-Blake has overturned a decade of progressive decisions at the EAT and removed minimum wage protections from care and support workers on sleep-in shifts. It may be that Lord Justices Ryder, Underhill and Singh thought their ruling would do the industry a good turn. Yet their decision puts the sector even further away from the position it desperately needs to be in, that of being able to offer decent jobs and to stem the growing exodus of its workforce.

Shake it up: IER agenda for health and safety reform

06 July 2018

By Phil James, Middlesex University

Too many workers and their families continue to suffer from the failure of their employing organisations to provide safe and healthy working conditions. Injuries, acute and chronic ill-health and death occur all too frequently, along with the emotional and financial costs they cause. Yet employing organisations are rarely held accountable. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the majority of the associated costs are borne by those harmed, their families, and the taxpayer in benefits and health care.

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