03 March 2016
By Professor Mark Freedland
In May 2015, the researchers of the House of Commons Library identified the United Kingdom’s ‘self-employment boom’ as one of the key issues for the 2015 Parliament. They pointed to a growth of self-employment to a (then) ‘record high of 4.5 million in 2014’ (now apparently increased to 4.6 million), a growth which was ‘likely to reflect both temporary and permanent changes to the economy, together with government policy, particularly on tax and welfare’, and which meant that ‘currently around one in seven people in employment are self-employed in their main job’. They linked this to the growth of a ‘grey economy’ of tax evasion and pointed to ‘the implications of growing numbers of individuals with less predictable income and weaker job security’. (The same implications could also be drawn from the parallel and not unconnected phenomenon of the rise in zero-hours contracting for employment.)
German Judges offer a damning opinion on the European Commission’s proposed Investment Court System (ICS),
26 February 2016
German Magistrates Association
We are grateful to John Hendy QC who has brought to our attention this highly significant public statement by the German Judges on TTIP (and CETA). The statement offers a forthright opinion on proposals from the European Commission (16.09.2015 and 11.12.2015) regarding the establishment of an investment tribunal in TTIP.
23 February 2016
By Mark Freedland and Jermias Prassl, Oxford Human Rights Hub
Over the course of the past year, we have repeatedly highlighted the problems facing workers on so-called ‘zero-hours contracts’ (‘ZHCs’), and criticised the government’s inadequate regulatory response in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, section 153 of which rendered exclusivity terms in such work arrangements unenforceable as against the worker.
22 February 2016
By Michelle Singleton, UNISON Policy Unit
The Enterprise Bill, now on its Second Reading in the House of Commons and under debate today, legislates to cap exit payments to public sector workers at £95,000. On first glance, it seems the new ruling will only affect the highest earners, but if you drill into the detail of the Bill, the government has not been careful enough to protect those on a low wage from being disproportionately penalised.
18 February 2016
By Carolyn Jones, Director, Institute of Employment Rights
It’s official! The Trade Union Bill currently being rushed through Parliament by the Conservative Government is in breach of international labour standards. So says the latest report to be published by the ILO Committee of Experts in February 2016.
17 February 2016
James Harrison, IER
On 11 February 2016, the IER, Campaign for Trade Union Freedom, People's Assembly, Class and the Trade Union Coordinating Group held their second joint rally, bringing together representatives of the host organisations to oppose the Trade Union Bill.
Below our blogger for the night, James Harrison, provides a report on the contributions from the platform and from the audience. While Sarah Glenister has produced a storify of some of the social media activity around the event.