An employment tribunal has ruled that 65 Hermes couriers are staff workers and not self-employed. The ruling means that they are entitled to employees’ rights, the minimum wage and holiday pay. The GMB union that bought the tribunal case in Leeds for the employees said the ruling will affect almost 15,000 Hermes couriers nationwide. Union general secretary Tim Roache said: “Bosses can’t pick and choose which laws to obey. This is another nail in the coffin of the exploitative bogus self-employment model.”

The Guardian, Page: 11 The Independent, Page: 63 The Sun, Page: 4 Daily Mirror, Page: 11 City AM, Page: 9

Posted 26/06/2018


Pimlico Plumbers has lost a legal battle in the Supreme Court over workers’ rights. The company was told that Gary Smith, a plumber who had been with the company for six years, was entitled to benefits such as holiday and sick pay, despite having been VAT-registered and paying self-employment taxes. The ruling means that an employment tribunal can now examine Mr Smith’s action against Pimlico as a worker, including a claim that he was unfairly dismissed. TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said the case had exposed “how widely sham self-employment has spread”, and called on the government to crack down on the practice.

BBC News The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 3 Financial Times, Page: 2 The Times, Page: 6 Daily Express, Page: 2 The Independent, Page: 64 The Guardian, Page: 5 Daily Mail, Page: 38 City AM, Page: 7

Posted 14/06/2018



The Guardian reports that Next is facing an equal pay claim from female shop floor staff. More than 300 workers have registered to take part in a claim filed at the conciliation service Acas, according to the paper. They say they are paid £7.50 an hour, an average £2 less than the mainly male warehouse staff who they view as doing work of equal value. The average salary difference for the group is about £6,000 and it is expected that 3,000-5,000 workers will sign up to the group claim, which could take it to £30m.

The Guardian, Page: 41

Posted 08/03/2018

Trade unions have warned that workers’ rights could suffer if Britain leaves Europe’s single market and instead joins the Trans-Pacific Partnership after Brexit. TUC general secretary Frances Barber said the trading pact “allows labour abuses, it puts public services at risk and it gives too much control to corporations.”

The Guardian, Page: 7

Posted 04/01/2018


Margot James, the business minister, has warned that employers are discriminating against fathers at work by refusing requests for flexible hours, forcing mothers to do more childcare. She told MPs at the Women and Equalities Committee that rigid attitudes are bad for fathers as they get less time with their families, while women also lose out in their own careers as a result. Ms James said: “One of the reasons employers are less generous to fathers is that they are not so sure of their legal obligations to fathers as they are to mothers. They think they can stand in the way more of what fathers need to do at home, and that is wrong.”

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 4


Posted 27/11/2017

Two thirds of British workers would prefer to start and end their working day earlier than the traditional 9am to 5pm, a new survey has found. YouGov said starting at 8am and finishing at 4pm was the most popular option, chosen by 25% of respondents. Another 13% said they would prefer to work 8.30am to 4.30pm, while 10% favoured 7am to 3pm.

BBC News The Daily Telegraph

Posted 14/11/2017

A £5m Government Returnships fund is offering a range of programmes aimed at helping people return to work. The schemes are for teachers, social workers, health professionals and civil servants, and are open to both genders, but many of those taking up the offer are expected to be women who have taken time out to bring up their children.

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 4

Posted 28/08/2017


Women’s rights groups have expressed concerns that Brexit could roll back decades of meaningful advances for working women. The Fawcett Society and more than a dozen other women’s groups and political parties are calling for an amendment to the Repeal Bill that would officially adopt the current EU-levels of employment rights and protections. Although Theresa May has promised to maintain women’s rights, including the length of paid maternity leave, exiting the EU opens the door for “a change of heart once the bulwark that EU law provides is gone”, said Michael Newman, a partner at Leigh Day. EU negotiators are also applying pressure, warning the UK that cutting worker protections would amount to “regulatory dumping”.

The Independent, Page: 36

Posted 15/07/2017

Employers who search out the social media profiles of jobseekers and employees have been warned that they are breaking data protection laws. The Information Commissioner’s Office and other national data watchdogs have declared that excessive monitoring of job applicants and employees on Facebook and Twitter could fall foul of privacy rules that limit how companies may process personal information. Regulators say any data collected must also be “relevant to the performance of the job”. According to the recruitment website CareerBuilder, 70% of employers use social media to check candidates, up from just 11% in 2006.

Financial Times, Page: 4   Independent I, Page: 49   The Daily Telegraph, Page: 9

Posted 14/07/2017


A father has successfully sued his employer for failing to give him full paternity leave rights. Madasar Ali, a call centre worker, was told by Capita that he would receive only two weeks of full pay, whereas women were entitled to 14 weeks. The tribunal ruled the policy flouted the 2010 Equality Act, plus regulations on shared parental leave from 2015. The case is the first to be won by a man in England under shared parental leave laws introduced two years ago. A hearing to decide on compensation for Mr Ali is set to take place in the near future, but Capita has said it would appeal against the judgment.

The Sun, Page: 22   The Daily Telegraph, Page: 12   The Times, Page: 21

Posted 12/06/2017