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.)

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.

Zero Hours – Zero Solutions

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.

Public sector exit payment caps will penalise low earners unless the govt listens today

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.

We can't allow the Tories to arrogantly flout international law

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.

Kill the Bill and beyond – NUT Mander Hall 11th 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.



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