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.
03 August 2008
The review of pay trends in Europe in 2006 and 2007 finds that average collectively-agreed nominal wage increases across the EU rose from 5.6% in 2006 to 7% in 2007. However, taking into account rising inflation, the rate of real increase f...
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.
27 January 2008
The central aim of the draft EU Directive on working conditions for temporary agency workers (*EU0204205F* ) is to guarantee equal treatment for these workers in terms of pay and conditions as workers employed by the user company to do the same job. Following a lengthy deadlock on the issue in the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO ) (*EU0410204F* ), the Portuguese EU Presidency in the second half of 2007 renewed the debate on the draft directive and prepared a new text, which was discussed at an EPSCO meeting on 5 December 2007.  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined-industrial-relations/commission-proposes-directive-on-temporary-agency-workers  http://consilium.europa.eu/cms3_fo/showPage.asp?id=411&lang=en  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/temporary-work-working-time-and-equality-discussed-at-council
19 September 2007
In April 2007, the Department of Trade and Industry (since renamed the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) published its annual report on trade union membership (2.34Mb PDF) , based on Labour Force Survey data for the fourth quarter of 2006.  http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file39006.pdf
02 September 2007
The UK papermaking industry currently employs some 10,000 workers at around 60 sites. It is unusual, in the context of the UK private sector’s decentralised collective bargaining system, in having national bargaining arrangements. The few other sectors in this regard include printing, engineering construction and electrical contracting.
02 September 2007
The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC ), set up in 1975, is the main public agency working to eliminate gender discrimination in the UK. From October 2007, it will cease to exist and its responsibilities will pass to a new Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR ), dealing with all equality issues (*UK0407102N* ). On 24 July 2007, the EOC issued its final report entitled Completing the revolution: The leading indicators (293Kb PDF)  which sets out the ‘most comprehensive ever measure of gender equality in Britain’, based on 22 indicators that assess the ‘state of the nation’ in terms of gender equality.  http://www.eoc.org.uk/  http://www.cehr.org.uk/  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/white-paper-on-single-equality-and-human-rights-commission-published  http://www.eoc.org.uk/pdf/Gender_Equality_Index_GB_web.pdf
12 August 2007
In its manifesto for the 2005 general election (*UK0504110F* ), the Labour Party promised to make paid time off for bank holidays additional to employees’ statutory four-week annual holiday entitlement; there are eight permanent bank holidays a year in Great Britain. In June 2006, the then Department of Trade and Industry (since renamed the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, BERR ) issued an initial consultation document on raising the holiday entitlement in two stages to 5.6 weeks a year – the equivalent of an increase from 20 days to 28 days for an employee working a five-day week (*UK0607039I* ).  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/parties-outline-contrasting-election-policies-on-employment-relations  http://www.berr.gov.uk  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/government-launches-consultation-on-extra-holiday-entitlement