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Where is workers' voice in Taylor's Review?

11 July 2017

By John Hendy QC, IER Chair

Changes to the law to protect the rights of those who work for a living are essential. It is doubtful if the changes proposed by theTaylor Review are anything like radical enough. They appear to ignore the fact that many gig workers are already 'workers' with rights to a number of employment rights. And the proposals go nowhere near far enough to deal with the problem of zero-hours contracts for the vast majority of the 2.7 million workers on such contracts.

‘Matthew Taylor’s Review of Employment Practices in the Modern Economy – How a mountain gave birth to a mouse’

11 July 2017

By Nicola Countouris, Professor of Law at University College London; and Professor Keith D. Ewing, President of the IER

A mountain had gone into labour and was groaning terribly. Such rumours excited great expectations all over the country. In the end, however, the mountain gave birth to a mouse’

(Phaedrus, ‘The Mountain in Labour’)

 

For some, there were great expectations that PM May’s ‘Independent Review of Employment Practices in the Modern Economy’ could offer something more than heart-warming gestures for the millions of workers employed through casual and intermittent contracts, a million or so of them toiling under the permanent insecurity of a zero-hour contract. Unfortunately, after nine long months of gestation, some drama, and a lot of fanfare, the review produced by Mr Matthew Taylor has come up with some seriously underwhelming, where not counterproductive, recommendations.

Strike A Light - Tory Trade Union Act Is Already Backfiring

06 July 2017

By Gregor Gall, Professor of Industrial Relations, The University of Bradford

Although it’s still early days, the evidence is that the Tory Trade Union Act 2016 is already backfiring as the length of individual strikes increase, creating more days ‘lost’ to striking per strike, as a result of the new tighter regulations. The intention of the Tory government with the Act was to reduce the levels of strike action even lower than they presently are and especially in the so-called ‘essential services’ of transport and education.

Dangerous Times: health and safety protections under attack

Steve Tombs

30 June 2017

By Steve Tombs, Professor of Criminology, Open University

Since 2010, the Coalition, then the Tories, have both continued and significantly extended some of the ‘reforms’ initiated by Blair and Brown under the Better Regulation initiative from 2004 onwards; and, significantly, these approaches to regulation in general and to health and safety law and enforcement in particular, have been pursued in the context of austerity and the attempt to shrink the state. The effect of these trajectories has been to unravel the levels of social protection for workers and local communities. Health and safety law is being undone, undermined and is under attack.

Health and Safety: Undoing Social Protection

Steve Tombs

23 June 2017

By Steve Tombs, Professor of Criminology, the Open University

"It's going to come to the point where it's going to affect the residents, the local population, in many ways we are at that point now, public health and protection is being eroded." Environmental Health Officer, Merseyside.

The Tory Trade Union Act 2016: What Has Its Impact Been So Far?

20 June 2017

By Gregor Gall, Professor of Industrial Relations, the University of Bradford

The main provisions of the Trade Union Act 2016, concerning new, tougher balloting thresholds, came into force on 01 March 2017. This articles summarises the main findings of the first research (from the Jimmy Reid Foundation) to quantify the impact of the new Act on strikes and industrial action.

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