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News 15 - 21 March 2019


Fri 22 March, 2019

Brexit is everywhere.  It’s in our conversation, it’s on every news channel (virtually) and the yet effectively the discussion has danced around trying to resolve the same problems. This week, in an attempt to restore the sovereignty of Parliament the Prime Minister took the seemingly extraordinary step of telling the nation that she was on our side, fed up of Brexit (but not being PM & taking the salary and expenses that go with it) and that the whole thing was just getting in the way of the real business of government.  So what has slipped by in the last couple weeks?

So this week we look at what’s not made it to the front pages recently.  The TUC has found that teacher’s work more unpaid overtime than any profession.(1)   An estimated 100 retail employees are attacked daily in the UK in a survey by the British Retail Consortium costing an estimated £1.9Bn a year in crime prevention alone.(2)  A recruitment survey found 50% of the population  were unmotivated by their jobs.(3)  The late, great comic Bill Hicks had a very specific treatment for this, see the DVD of his stand-up ‘Revelations’ for more on this.  A survey by Paychex has found nearly one in five workers find their workplace toxic.(4)  The government has launched a consultation into the misuse of confidentiality clauses in workplace discrimination and harassment cases.(5)  The Learning and Work Institute have warned of a ‘perfect storm’ of decline without a massive boost of investment in learning.(6)  On the back of the Good Work Plan the government has started to outline plans to improve worker security.(7) 

The Care industry as discussed in previous editorials is in crisis, and a recent study by the Care Association Alliance has estimated that 128,000 new employees need to be recruited on an annual basis to meet this demand.(8)  A recent government report has highlighted that the burden at present is falling on workers forced to juggle their jobs with their care responsibilities(9) and this has led to calls for carers to be afforded paid leave and the right to return to work until this massive gap in need and provision is met in a meaningful way.(10)

Then there’s the bucket loads of Case Law, which has huge implications for future employee relations.  There has been the first appeal on European Work Councils.(11)  A recent discrimination case has found that discrimination may not apply ‘if it is based on the employers belief?’(12)  A case which considered whether a 20 minute break had to be ‘continuous’(13) and another case which has detailed the importance of solid investigations in ‘whistleblowing cases.(14) These are just a few.

It’s easy to see how distracting the B word has become at present and perhaps this all further serves to muddy what are already densely cloudy waters.  But while the farce continues, lives go on.

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