23 March 2009
With the UK economy in recession – gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 1.5% in the fourth quarter of 2008, following a 0.6% fall in the third quarter – unemployment has been rising since late 2007 (*UK0812039I* , *UK0902039I* ). According to the Office for National Statistics, the unemployment rate stood at 6.1% in the three months to November 2008, up 0.4 percentage points on the previous quarter and 0.9 points on the same quarter of 2007. This represents the highest unemployment rate since 1999.  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/unemployment-hits-young-and-older-workers-the-hardest  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/dramatic-rise-in-number-of-job-losses
03 February 2009
Each new session of the UK parliament is opened by the Queen’s Speech, written by the government and delivered by the monarch, which sets out the government’s legislative plans. The Queen’s Speech delivered on 3 December 2008 included several employment-related bills that the Labour Party  government plans to introduce in 2009. These include a major Equality Bill, legislation concerning education, training and apprenticeships, and a Welfare Reform Bill. The government also confirmed that it would be granting flexible working arrangements for parents of older children.  http://www.labour.org.uk/
29 January 2009
EIRObserver is the bi-monthly bulletin of the European Industrial Relations Observatory. It contains an edited selection of feature and news items, based on some of the reports supplied for the EIROnline database over each two-month period. On top of this, EIRO also conducts comparative research on specific themes. The comparative supplement provides a broad overview of national provisions to combat age discrimination against older workers and to encourage the employment and retention of such workers in the Member States plus Norway.
13 January 2009
On 14 November 2008, the Office for National Statistics (ONS ) published the initial findings (122Kb PDF)  of its 2008 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE). The survey is based on data relating to 146,000 employees, taken from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC ) tax records.  http://www.statistics.gov.uk/default.asp  http://www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/ashe1108.pdf  http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/
01 December 2008
JCB , headquartered in the UK, is the world’s third-largest manufacturer of construction equipment. At the end of 2007, the company had 18 plants and 9,000 employees worldwide, including 11 factories and a workforce of almost 6,000 people in the UK.  http://www.jcb.com/
23 November 2008
Between July and August 2008, the YouGov  research company, on behalf of the Trades Union Congress (TUC ), conducted an online poll of a representative sample of 2,857 workers. The poll sought to examine workers’ attitudes towards their jobs and employers, along with the types of problems they face at work, and what they want from employers, trade unions and the government. The TUC describes the survey findings – published in September 2008 in a report entitled What do workers want? (647Kb PDF)  – as setting an ‘agenda for the workplace from the workplace’.  http://www.yougov.com/  http://www.tuc.org.uk/  http://www.tuc.org.uk/em_research/tuc-15269-f0.pdf
06 October 2008
The Public Services Forum (PSF ) was set up in 2003 to improve dialogue between the government, trade unions and public service employers (*UK0309104F* ). As part of the PSF’s work, the government, in partnership with trade unions, business and voluntary organisations, has developed a joint statement (238Kb PDF)  on access to skills, trade unions and advice in government contracting. The document was signed on 15 July 2008 by the government, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI ), the Trades Union Congress (TUC ), the Business Services Association (BSA ), the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO ) and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO ). The initiative aims to improve the quality of services delivered under government contracts, by raising the skills of contractors and ensuring their fair treatment.  http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/workforcematters/stakeholder_fora/public.aspx  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/tuc-conference-highlights-tensions-in-union-government-relations  http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/~/media/assets/www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/workforcematters/CO_joint_statement pdf.ashx  http://www.cbi.org.uk/  http://www.tuc.org.uk/  http://www.bsa-org.com/  http://www.acevo.org.uk/  http://www.ncvo-vol.org.uk/
28 September 2008
In its employment strategy paper (547Kb PDF) , published in March 2006 (*UK0605019I* ), the government made a commitment to protecting ‘vulnerable workers’ and tackling ‘non-compliant employers’. As part of this commitment, in June 2007 it set up a Vulnerable Worker Enforcement Forum, comprising representatives of trade unions, employers and business groups, as well as workplace enforcement agencies and advice bodies, and chaired by the Minister of State for Employment Relations and Postal Affairs, Pat McFadden. The forum’s brief was to examine evidence about the nature and extent of abuse of workplace rights. More specifically, it sought to consider whether:  http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file27469.pdf  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/government-publishes-employment-relations-strategy-paper
28 August 2008
Industrial relations developments in Europe 2007 highlights the most significant industrial relations developments over the past year – both at national and EU level. It first outlines the main political and legislative initiatives taken in the Member States over the past year and goes on to examine the key issues covered by collective bargaining – pay, working time, occupational pensions and training. It focuses in particular on initiatives taken regarding temporary agency work, efforts to close the gender pay gap and action in the area of migration.
04 February 2008
The opening of each new session of the UK parliament is marked by the Queen's Speech, written by the government and delivered by the monarch, which sets out sets out the government's legislative and policy priorities for the coming year. The main employment-related measures in the Queen's Speech on 6 November 2007 – the first since Gordon Brown became prime minister – are summarised below.