Good afternoon – it’s a new week, so we’re going to start by rounding up all the main HR and employment law news from today, and the weekend just gone.
Pay cap lifted for police and prison officers – Personnel Today
Police and prison officers are set to be the first beneficiaries of the government’s decision to relax its 1% public sector cap, imposed in 2010.
The shift in policy was signalled by Downing Street on Sunday and is likely to lead to a loosening of restrictions for other sectors, such as health and schools.
It has come about partly in response to the recommendations of pay review bodies for the police and prisons that have pinpointed low morale and increasing retention issues.
Labour is to force a Commons vote on scrapping the 1% public sector pay cap.
On Sunday, the shadow health secretary, Jon Ashworth, called on Tory MPs to join his party in backing moves to end the “unfair” cap with a motion to be debated on Wednesday.
MPs and a union have criticised the decision to award the contract to refurbish Big Ben to an employer linked to an historic blacklisting scandal.
MP Chuka Ummuna and GMB Union have opposed the decision to give the contract to construction giant Sir Robert McAlpine, who were amongst the firms that had to pay out tens of millions of pounds to ‘blacklisted workers.’
McAlpine were implicated in a case that involved companies using a database to keep employees who were trade union or health and safety reps out of employment.
Evidence mounts of anti-EU national discrimination in UK – The Guardian
Growing evidence that EU nationals in the UK are being blocked from renting or buying properties, getting jobs and booking holidays is to be investigated by the government equalities office.
Nick Gibb, the equalities minister, has told MPs that the government equalities office “is aware of, and is looking into” reports of increasing discrimination against EU nationals looking for work or buying goods and services.
The CIPD is calling on the government to invest £13m a year in HR support services for small businesses following its own successful year-long programme.
The People Skills pilot scheme, which was developed by the CIPD and supported by the JP Morgan Chase Foundation, saw 400 small businesses across Hackney, Stoke-on-Trent and Glasgow benefit from two days’ worth of free HR support – including face-to-face advice, a telephone helpline, online information and templates, and group training events. The scheme proved so successful in Glasgow that the city council has continued to fund the programme.
Companies may be inadvertently participating in modern slavery because their vetting practices are not up to scratch, research published today has cautioned.
The study from the Universities of Sheffield and Bath – which entailed interviews with experts in business, non-governmental organisations, trade unions, law firms and the police – found that organisations were failing to thoroughly monitor outsourced recruitment, subcontracting or informal hiring practices.
Most incidences of forced labour identified by the study involved workers who were not part of the business’s core workforce and may only have been on site for a matter of days.