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About the P&I Team Briefings Home | Responses | PFI Index | Policy Guide
BARGAIN BRIEF November 2006 No 26
Topical news for activists and staff  
bargain brief is

...a publication from the Policy & Information Team. It aims to provide a concise and topical news service for activists and staff engaged in representing and bargaining on behalf of UNISON members in Scotland.

Recognising that not all activists have the access or time to read detailed information we hope this summary format will be helpful.

Further information on any of the news items below is available from the P&I Team and we welcome feedback on any aspect of this service.

Contacts list:

Kay Sillars

Dave Watson

Diane Anderson

Kevin O'Neil

Kenny MacLaren

P&I Team
14 West Campbell Street
G2 6RX
Tel: 0845 355 0845
Fax: 0141 221 8953



- Employment Law Timetable

- Redundancy Consultation
TUPE Change of control on share sale does not amount to TUPE transfer
- Public Sector rewards new graduates
- Third sector pay gap
- Pay settlements at 3.3%

Health & Safety
- Control of Asbestos Regulations comes into force
- Forthcoming: Risk Management
- Holidays

Equality at Work
- Senior Manager key to achieving Equality
Interview questions

- Male White and Middle Aged

Click here for previous Bargain Briefs



Employment Law Timetable


Implementation of the pension scheme provisions of the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations has been delayed until 1 December 2006.

From October first the following regulations come into force: Maternity and parental Leave etc and the Paternity and Adoption leave (Amendment) Regulations 2006, this includes the removal of the additional length of service qualifying condition for additional maternity leave; The Adoption and Children Act (2002) (Consequential Amendment to Statutory Adoption Pay) Order; Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 which set a default retirement age of 65 but employers are under a duty to consider requests to work beyond this age; National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999( Amendment) Regulations 2006 increase the minimum wage to £5.35 per hour.



Employment Rights


Health & Safety

Control of Asbestos Regulations comes into force

The 2006 Control of Asbestos Regulations come into force on November 13th. These regulations introduce a single limit for working with asbestos and specific training. There are clearer set of controls for reducing exposure. These replace and consolidate earlier legislation. Other regulations coming into force in the next six months include construction biocidal products, indicative occupational exposure limit values, work at height (amendments), chemicals (hazards information) dust in coal mines and new health and safety fees.


The HSE will publish its final version of "sensible" risk management principles by the end of the year. The government commissioned report on alleged over implementation of EU legislation is also due before the end of2006


The new IDS guide to hours and holidays shows that more employers are boosting holiday entitlement than cutting basic hours. Basic holiday entitlement is typically 25 days per year. Less than ten per cent of employers offer more than 26 days as standard leave.



Bargaining issues

Redundancy Consultation

The DTI has published revised guidance on statutory redundancy consultation. Key points:

·Consultation must be completed and notice of impending collective redundancy must be given to the DTI before notice of impending redundancies is issued to employees. Penalty for non compliance re informing the DTI is £5000.

·The obligation to inform and consult may also apply where the employer intends to offer alternative employment on different terms and conditions to some or all employees with the even if the number dismissed falls below 20.

·Employees may be affected by the proposed dismissals and should be informed and consulted even though they as individuals are not to be dismissed.

·Employers must comply with the requirements of TULRA even if they have established separate consultation arrangements under the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004. If a trade union is recognised the employer must consult with the union, even if there is a separate group of employee representatives set up under the above regulations.

TUPE Change of control on share sale does not amount to TUPE transfer.

A recent EAT decision in the Print Factory (London) 1991 v Millam case has found that a TUPE transfer could not be inferred after a holding company acquired shares giving it control of a subsidiary. Employment tribunals are not entitled to "pierce the corporate veil". If the companies remain separate legal entities then there is no TUPE transfer. The subsidiaries lack of independence did not demonstrate that the holding company owned the subsidiaries business. The subsidiary retained its assets and employees and as there was no evidence that this was a sham the two companies were separate entities.

Public Sector rewards new graduates

Pay rates for new graduates recruited to the public sector are higher than the private sector for the first time. Graduates seeking a career in management in the civil service, local government of the NHS can expect to earn 7% higher than the average stating salary of a graduate in the private sector. A survey in the Guardian indicates that increasing numbers of graduates want to follow a career in the public and not-for-profit sectors.

Third sector pay gap

The pay gap between the private and third sector has increased. Chief Executives at charities earn almost 23% less than the average chief executive. The pay gap is not as wide at other levels but still exists. Middle managers earn 10.7% less than those in the private sector. Junior managers earn 4% less but those at a supervisory level earn 2.7% more than the average for all sectors. With the public sector now offering higher than average starting salaries for graduates (see above) the third sector may begin to experience problems recruiting and retaining managers despite many young people stating a desire to work in the sector.

Comparisons across the third sector show that medical charities offer the best rates for chief executives with those at religious or missionary organisations earning the least. Charity supervisors working for animal welfare organisations are the lowest paid at that job level.

Pay settlements at 3.3%

UK pay awards for the last quarter are still averaging at 3%. This rate has remained stable since April 2003. The private sector average is 3.18% while the public sector is lower at 2.69% The headline inflation rate is expected to be 4% by then end of 2006. IDS research suggests that private sector wage rises will be 4% over the next 12months while public sector pay increases are limited to 2%.


Workplace Issues



Senior Manager key to achieving Equality

New Research in IRS shows that the success or failure of equality and diversity policies in the workplace is dependant on the support of senior managers. The study in Equal Opportunities Review asked employers to rate the factors that decide whether a policy succeeds. Two thirds felt that senior backing was crucial. Over half felt that the need to comply with legislation was cited as very important.

Interview questions

HR consultancy firm Water for Fish have published research showing that most job interviewees have been asked questions at interview that flout employment legislation. More than half have been asked about their marital status and two out of three about their age. Other areas probed included ethnic background, religion, political allegiance and sexual preference.




Male White and Middle Aged

The 1994 study Working for the Union has recently been updated recently. Both studies try to give an insight into the nature of paid union official jobs and the demographics of union's workforces. Currently fewer than 4000 people work for the 7 million members of trade unions in Britain.

One fifth of officers are women, an increase from 12% ten years ago. This change is likely to continue as 30% of those appointed in the past five years have been women. Two per cent of staff identified themselves as having black or other ethnic minority identity. This is the same percentage of staff who are under 30. Staff tend to be older as the vast majority of union staff served as lay activist before taking up paid work in the union. The number of union officers with degrees has doubled since the early 90s and now stands at 33%.Although 16% have no formal qualifications. .




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