04 May 2011
The Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (as amended) provides that, in order to be lawful, industrial action organised by a trade union must be authorised by a secret postal ballot of its relevant members. The union must ballot all members who will be called on to take part in the industrial action, but no other members. A majority of those voting is required to authorise the industrial action. The legislation lays down very detailed and complex technical requirements for the conduct of ballots.
28 April 2011
Specific occupational pension schemes apply to around six million public employees in the UK. The largest schemes cover:
24 March 2011
The European-level social partners in the hospitals and healthcare sector are the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU ) and the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM ). Their formal sectoral dialogue  which began in 2006 (*EU0610039I* ) has led to several joint texts, including a 2009 agreement on preventing sharps injuries in hospitals and healthcare (*EU0908029I* ), which was given EU-wide legal force by Council Directive 2010/23/EU ) (*EU1003059I* ).  http://www.epsu.org/  http://www.hospeem.eu/  http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=480&langId=en&intPageId=37  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/search/node/eiro OR 2006 OR 10 OR articles OR eu0610039i?oldIndex  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/agreement-on-preventing-sharp-instrument-injuries-at-work-in-healthcare-sector  http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2010:134:0066:01:EN:HTML  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/new-eu-directives-on-preventing-injuries-from-sharp-objects-and-on-parental-leave
14 March 2011
Following a period of speculation and lobbying by the social partners (*UK1101029I* ) and against the background of a steep recent increase in claims to employment tribunals (the bodies that adjudicate individual employment law disputes, see *UK0403101T* ), the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS ) and the Ministry of Justice’s Tribunals Service  launched a public consultation  on resolving workplace disputes on 27 January 2011. The Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition government describes the initiative as a significant first step in taking forward its planned review of employment law (*UK1005019I* ).  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/industrial-relations/employment-tribunal-reform-under-debate  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/thematic-feature-individual-labouremployment-disputes-and-the-courts-21  http://www.bis.gov.uk/  http://www.tribunals.gov.uk/  http://www.bis.gov.uk/Consultations/resolving-workplace-disputes?cat=open  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined/public-sector-cuts-loom-as-coalition-government-is-formed
09 March 2011
Employees are entitled to take statutory ordinary paternity leave of one or two consecutive weeks if they become a biological or adoptive father. They qualify for such leave if they are the husband, civil partner (in a legally recognised same-sex civil partnership) or partner (a person who lives with the mother and child in an enduring family relationship, but is not a relative of the mother) of a mother or adoptive parent. The leave must be taken in the 56 days after the birth or adoption and the employee receives statutory paternity pay during the leave.
01 March 2011
Employment tribunals adjudicate individual employment law disputes between employees and employers relating to issues such as unfair dismissal, pay, working time and discrimination (*UK0403101T* ). According to the most recent data (547Kb PDF)  from the Tribunals Service , in the year to 31 March 2010, 236,100 claims were made to employment tribunals, an increase of 56% on the same period in 2008–2009 and the highest figure on record. This increase was largely as a result of a 90% rise in multiple claims (made by two or more people, usually against the same employer) but also, the Service reports, ‘partly as a result of the changing economic climate’.  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/thematic-feature-individual-labouremployment-disputes-and-the-courts-21  http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/docs/tribunals-stats-q2-2010-11.pdf  http://www.tribunals.gov.uk/
10 February 2011
In March 2010, the European Commission  launched a first-stage consultation with EU-level social partners on certain aspects of Directive 2003/88/EC , the Working Time Directive (*EU1004011I* ).  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/industrial-relations-dictionary/european-commission  http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32003L0088:EN:HTML  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/industrial-relations-working-conditions/commission-consults-social-partners-on-working-time-directive-review
24 October 2010
The Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009  introduced, from April 2010, a right for workers in companies employing more than 250 staff to ask for time to study or train, on or off the job. The right applies after 26 weeks’ service with an employer. The type of training is not specified, but it is meant to improve the performance of the employee and the business. Employers are not obliged to pay for the training or the training time. However, they are obliged to consider the request and respond within a set time. Employers may turn down requests for several business reasons, such as cost, or an inability to reorganise work. The law had been due to be extended to organisations with 250 or fewer staff from April 2011.  http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2009/22/contents
27 June 2010
This annual review highlights the most significant developments that took place in industrial relations in the EU Member States and Norway in 2009, both at national and EU level. It first sets out the political context, then goes on to examine levels of coverage of collective bargaining, and trends in bargaining regarding pay, working time and a number of other topics. In addition, this review outlines the year’s main developments in employment legislation, social dialogue, industrial action and company restructuring, and explores the impact of the global economic crisis.
23 August 2009
This annual review draws on data from the European Industrial Relations Observatory to examine industrial relations developments in 2008 in the 27 EU Member States and Norway, as well as the EU-level. It focuses, in particular, on restructuring and the global economic crisis, as well as on self-employed workers.