Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJuly 22, 2019
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2min588

Government plans to compensate workers for cancelled shifts have been described as a “step in the right direction”.

The Good Work Plan outlines proposals to compensate flexible staff when shifts are cancelled at short notice and to ensure they are provided with a reasonable period of notice for their allocated shifts. The document also suggests additional protections for individuals who are penalised if they do not accept last-minute shifts.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said of the initiative: “Innovative entrepreneurs and new business models have opened up a whole new world of working patterns and opportunities, providing people with freedom to decide when and where they work that best suits them.

“It’s vital that workers’ rights keep pace with these changes, reflect the modern working environment and tackle the small number of firms that do not treat their staff fairly. We are the first country in the world to address modern working practices and these protections will cement the UK’s status as a world-leader in workers’ rights.”

The proposed measures follow the government’s announcement that it is consulting on creating a single labour market enforcement body, which will strengthen protections for workers and provide them with new rights.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady welcomed the new proposals, but said: “Too many workers are treated like disposable labour. Making sure employers compensate staff for cancelling shifts at the last minute is a step in the right direction.

“But we need to deal with the root of this problem – the explosion of insecure work. That means banning shading practices like zero-hours contracts.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthMay 7, 2019
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2min560

One-in-three workers feel uncomfortable approaching their managers about problems at work, according to new poll conducted by the TUC.

The findings are published in a new report, Improving Line Management, which revealed that 32 percent of respondents have issues bringing matters to their direct superiors. The study also founds that while the majority of UK workers feel supported by their bosses, more than a third (35 percent) do not believe their line manager treats them and their colleagues fairly.

More than two-fifths (45 percent) of workers believe their line manager does not help “morale” at work. Meanwhile, the poll also reveals that many UK workers feel in the dark about their workplace rights, and nearly half of respondents (44 percent) say their line-manager fails to ensure they know their rights at work.

Despite being crucial to workers’ well-being and productivity, less than half of UK managers got any training in the last year, according to most recent government statistics.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Having a good manager is crucial to how we get on at work. But businesses are not investing enough in training managers. It’s shocking that so many workers feel afraid to raise issues with their boss and are not being told about their rights at work.

“If we want better and more productive workplaces, we need to step up investment in training – including for managers. Anyone who isn’t getting the support they deserve at work should join a union today.”

 


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthApril 15, 2019
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2min690

British workers are putting in the longest hours in the European Union, according to a new study. 

Analysis by the TUC reveals that full-time UK employees worked an average of 42 hours a week in 2018. This was almost two hours more than the EU average – equivalent to an extra two-and-a-half weeks a year.

Britain’s “long-hours culture” is not having a positive impact on productivity, the TUC has claimed, highlighting that in similar economies to the UK, employees are much more productive for each hour they work.

For example, full-time employees in Germany work 1.8 hours a week less than those in the UK, but are 14.6 percent more productive. In Denmark – the EU country with the shortest hours – workers put in over four hours less than UK staff, but productivity in Denmark is 23.5 percent higher.

The average full-time week in Britain has shortened by just 18 minutes over the past decade, which nowhere near fast enough to close the gap with other countries. Even if the EU average stayed the same, at current rates of progress it would take 63 years for UK workers to get the same amount of free time as their European counterparts.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Britain’s long hours culture is nothing to be proud of. It’s robbing workers of a decent home life and time with their loved ones. Overwork, stress and exhaustion have become the new normal.

“It’s time for a change. Other countries have shown that reducing working hours isn’t only good for workers, it can boost productivity. As new technology changes our economy, the benefits should be shared by working people. That means shorter hours, more time with family and friends, and decent pay for everyone.”


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