Employment Rights Publications

Decoding Some New Developments in Labour Standards Enforcement

by Steve Gibbons

Published in November 2004

This publication looks at the range of initiatives aimed at promoting global labour standards in the global marketplace. The author first outlines the regulatory controls developed by international organisations such as the OECD, the ILO and the United Nations. He goes on to examine the growth in “voluntary” initiatives such as company codes of conduct and a new concept known as “ratcheting labour standards”.

Nine Proposals for the Reform of the Law on Unfair Dismissal

By Hugh Collins

Published in May 2004

The law of unfair dismissal is based on an internationally recognised social right not to be unfairly dismissed. But to what extent does the UK framework of law protect that social right? Have developments in common law introduced unjustifiable limits on the statutory protection against unfair dismissal? How can our laws be improved to ensure UK workers are treated with respect and not as a “commodity”?

This publication examines the strengths and weakness of the current law, including the proposals contained in the Employment Act 2002. It highlights nine areas where the legislation fails to adequately protect the social right and sets out a clear and realistic agenda for reform.

Pension Promises and Employment Rights

By Bryn Davies, John Grieve Smith and Ivan Walker

Published in February 2004

Pensions have rarely been out of the headlines in recent years, with the collapse of high-profile occupational schemes and mis-selling of personal plans sitting uncomfortably beside the Government’s aim of reducing the State’s role and making us responsible for funding our own old age.

But cutting away the hype and confusion to get at the truth is almost impossible and most of us have no idea where to begin.

Now the Institute of Employment Rights has published a booklet that evaluates the pensions crisis and explores how the Government’s planned changes will affect both public and private sector workers.

The booklet looks at the legal, industrial and economic issues surrounding pensions and explodes many of the myths that underpin current pensions thinking.

Federation News - Protecting and Promoting International Labour Standards

Edited by John Hendy and Carolyn Jones

Published in May 2003

There could surely not be a more appropriate time to consider how best to promote, protect and extend international law than now amidst the anguish of war. This edition of Federation News focuses specifically on standards relating to the rights of trade unions and their members.

John Hendy, QC begins by highlighting the UK’s shameful defiance of international standards. He argues that such behaviour should not simply be seen as an item for discussion at trade union education courses. Rather recognising and upholding international standards should form the central argument for repealing and replacing the worst aspects of UK laws. He puts forward a number of strategies for improving the situation, both at national and international level and urges trade unions to pursue them all.

Who is the employer?

By Fang Lee Cooke, Jill Earnshaw and Jill Rubery

Published in October 2002

This new report looks at the growing complexity of the employment relationship, the shift towards individual statutory employment protection and the need for trade unions to organise and bargain beyond the enterprise level if terms and conidtions of employment are to be defended and extended. Based on original research, the authors outline the nature of the new forms of employment including agency workers, self-employed, outsourced work, PPP and PFI arrangements and use a call centre as a case study to highlight the multi-agency nature of the modern employment relationship. The paper concludes by suggesting six areas of policy and employment law changes aimed at identifying where the real power lies in the employment relationship, thereby providing better protection for those working in multi-employer situations.

A Charter of Workers’ Rights

Edited by Professor Keith Ewing and John Hendy QC

Published in September 2002

The Charter of Workers’ Rights was launched at a fringe meeting at TUC Congress on Monday 9th September 2002.

In 2001 the TUC Congress called for the development of a Workers’ Charter. Since then, the Institute has been working with unions, academics and lawyers to develop ideas for such a Charter.

The end result is an impressive report outlining the economic, social and international reasons why a Charter is required. The report has been sponsored by unions large and small with 28 logos included on the cover. It also includes a Foreword from John Monks, General Secretary of the TUC.

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