ELU conf delegates
About the conference
The Employment Law Update conference this year had as its focus the threats posed by the new Government, the legislative challenge that unions in face in terms of new legislation such as the Equality Act and a glance at important older legislation such as the Grievance procedures as amended under the Employment Act 2008
It was the 5th annual update in association with the TUC and Old Square Chambers and commemorated the life of Ken Gill with the work of the Ken Gill Memorial Fund.
The conference opened with an inspirational speech from Professor Keith Ewing who gave an outline of the threats posed to trade unions and workers by the new government. Keith has written on the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) attacks on trade union rights and refers to the rights British workers have according to International Labour Organisation Conventions 87 which allows freedom of assocation and protection of the right to organise and 98 which establishes the rights of workers to collectively bargain.
Given the economic climate and the resultant behaviour of some less scrupulous employers and the ever-escalating number of employment tribunals, Steve Cottingham from O H Parsons reviewed the Grievance procedures in his paper looking at the future of this area. We will explore this area in a seminar in March next year- Grievance procedures & employment tribunals: casework update
Given the outrageous behaviour of employers in recent cases such as at BA Gregor Gall investigated ballots, injunctions and the future of industrial action.
As one of 3 barristers speaking from Old Square Chambers Georgina Hirsch outlined Trade Union Strategy and the Law for the upcoming period.
For the second year, Laura Prince of Matrix Chambers spoke, outlining a brief account of the massive Equality Act
Laura outlined the provisions and schedules in the Act as understood by the Government Equalities Office, welcoming the new legislation, Laura explained protected characteristics and the basic framework of protection against direct and indirect discrimination.
We will be investigating the implications of the Equality Act and examine how the Act will impact on unions and workers, in our 4th annual equalities
conference on Wednesday December 8th.
Stuart Brittenden of Old Square Chambers critiqued the public sector Equality Duty specific duties, condemning the decision of the new Government to eject the first schedule of the Act.
Nicola Newbegin also of Old Square Chambers addressed the right to request time off to train as outlined in the Employment Rights Act 1996. There have been large notifications of changes in this area of law which Nicola investigated in her speech.
Sarah Veale from the TUC rounded up the contributions of the day with a galvanizing speech outlining the attitude of the TUC to the current economic crisis and the fundamental challenges posed by the colossal Con-Dem cuts.
BUY Labour Law Review
The conference is complimented by our Labour Law Review 2010, edited by Rebecca Tuck. You can buy your copy here