From the TUC

Hugh Robertson's Articles


Access to justice cuts: Reaping what you sow

15 Apr 2014, By

Probably the area where workers’ rights have been hardest hit by the current government is the ability to claim damages through the courts. Since the election the government has removed the legal system that allowed workers to pursue claims and receive all their damages. Now they may have to pay up to 25% of their…

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Assembly workers

The human cost of your new phone

06 Mar 2014, By

Before you buy a new laptop, phone or tablet perhaps you should think about the effect on those who make them, and a new film has highlighted just that. For decades Europe has exported the risk abroad. In Europe regulation has given workers some level of protection against hazards and stronger unions help stop some…

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danger sign at work

Self-employed exemptions – a recipe for confusion

25 Feb 2014, By

As I reported earlier the Government have announced that all self-employed people will be exempt from health and safety laws unless they are on a list of prescribed occupations. This goes far further than even the original proposal, which in itself was going to be confusing and dangerous. The government have now produced a list,…

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David Cameron addresses a meeting on the European Commission REFIT. Photo: Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland

Bad day for European regulation

21 Feb 2014, By

The European Parliament has, in the past, been seen as being a useful tool in challenging the European Commission when they have tried to reduce worker or public protection. Earlier this month however they let us down badly. The Parliament discussed the Commission’s de-regulatory programme called REFIT which says that the Commission will not be…

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safety sign

Self-employed exemption gets even scarier

20 Feb 2014, By

A really bad idea has just got even worse. The Government is currently trying to exempt some self- employed people from the Health and Safety at Work Act. The TUC and unions have strongly opposed this from day one. Originally it was going to be those that “pose no harm to others”. Of course this…

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Doctor's stethoscope and pen

New Health and Work Service a first step

10 Feb 2014, By

The Government yesterday launched their “Health and Work Service”. This will encourage GPs to refer any worker who is off sick for more than a month for an occupational health assessment, the results of which will be given to their employer. This is a positive move, as there is good evidence that the longer a…

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Health and Safety Executive – Reviewed to death?

09 Jan 2014, By

Since 2010 we have seen health and safety reviewed to death. First there was the Young review, then the “red-tape challenge” followed by the Loftsted review. All of these more or less said health and safety regulation was important and broadly OK although a few changes needed to be made. Some of those we did…

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