Human Rights vs. Bill of Rights: What’s in it for the workers?

23 May 2016

By Bob Kelly

With impeccable timing, the Institute of Employment Rights (IER) held a conference on the issue of the Human Rights Act, a day after it was briefly mentioned in the Queen’s Speech. The conference chair, Carolyn Jones, recited the sentence with an attempt at an impression that came out sounding more like the Queen of Kirkby than a rich aristocrat! After Carolyn’s otherwise excellent introduction the conference speakers fell into two camps. Two speakers gave us a legal background to aspects of Human Rights Law and three speakers who, as well as some legal aspects, gave us their view of the political context in which the law exists.

British people on corruption in their own country: it’s far from squeaky clean

19 May 2016

By David Whyte and David Ellis, University of Liverpool

On the eve of a major international anti-corruption summit hosted by the British government, the prime minister, David Cameron, was caught on a microphone bragging to the Queen that “we’ve got some leaders of some fantastically corrupt countries coming”, including “Nigeria and Afghanistan, possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world”.

Remain or Leave - trade deals still pose major threats to workers

12 May 2016

By Adrian Weir, Assistant Chief of Staff, Unite the Union

The cat is out of the bag – the publication last week of the LSE report on the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions within the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) commissioned by the Government has concluded that there’s nothing in for the UK.

A nasty Bill turned into a nasty Act

06 May 2016

By Carolyn Jones, Director, Institute of Employment Rights

The Trade Union Bill has now passed through its Parliamentary stages, receiving Royal Assent on Wednesday 04 May – ironically, the 90th anniversary of the 1926 General Strike.

Rethinking liberalisation – to counter corporate takeover

27 April 2016

By Linda Kaucher, StopTTIP UK

Liberalisation means opening investment opportunities to foreign and transnational investors. While the word is tossed around by journalists and politicians, it is rarely explained. Thus people don’t get the chance to grasp the meaning, to connect it to their own experience, or to recognise that the UK’s policy of total liberalisation is a political choice – and that there are other options. Part of the problem is that prestigious BBC journalists don’t really grasp this meaning themselves.

390,000 women a year are discriminated against in pregnancy yet only 1% take tribunal claim

13 April 2016

By Scarlet Harris, Women’s Equality Officer, TUC Equality and Employment Rights Department.

Last month the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) published its report and recommendations on pregnancy discrimination. In response, the TUC’s Touchstone blog published the article below.


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