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.


Inform your workforce, get sued. Reporting back in European Works Councils.

11 April 2016

By Stan De Spiegelaere & Romuald Jagodzinski, Researchers at the European Trade Union Institute

On 26 June 2013, the members of the Amcor European Works Council (EWC) received a court ruling stating that they could not use the company intranet to share a report of an EWC meeting directly with the workforce. About a year later, the same European Works Council select committee members were prohibited, by court ruling, from travelling to the UK to talk directly to the employee representatives on the site.

The EU is exporting UK neoliberalism to the rest of Europe

29 March 2016

By Aristea Koukiadaki,Senior Lecturer in Employment Law, School of Law, University of Manchester, Isabel Távora, Lecturer in Human Resource Management at the University of Manchester, Alliance Manchester Business School and Miguel Martínez Lucio,Professor of International HRM at the University of Manchester, Alliance Manchester Business School.

In the first of a series of articles highlighting the impact of EU austerity measures on levels of collective bargaining across seven EU member states, the authors provide an overview of their recent research. Their findings are stark. Measures imposed by the Troika on the seven states studied have resulted in limiting trade union powers and reducing workers’ pay. Future blogs will drill down into the specifics of the seven countries studied. Carolyn Jones

Select Committee's recommendations on Trade Union Bill don't go far enough

04 March 2016

By Keith Ewing, President of the IER

Clause 10 of the Trade Union Bill contains a pernicious and vindictive attack on trade union political freedom.

The threat to our democracy you didn’t see coming

04 March 2016

By Stephen Devlin, the New Economics Foundation

Yesterday, the government announced it intends to cut so-called ‘red tape’ for businesses by a further £10 billion.

The Deane Review of Self-employment

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.)

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