HR news round-up – Thurs 16 Nov 17

By November 16, 2017News

Afternoon everyone, here’s today’s employment law and HR news round-up. Click the titles for the full articles:


Poor productivity outside south-east England hurting UK economy – The Guardian

Britain’s economy would be more than £200bn bigger if all cities were as productive as those in London and the south-east, research from a thinktank has shown.

A report by the Centre for Cities revealed that the capital and its satellite cities were as productive as anywhere in Europe and that the UK’s recent weak productivity record was the result of a huge performance gap with other parts of the country.

The thinktank said that in places such as London, Slough, Reading, Milton Keynes and Aldershot, the value of output per worker was 44% higher than in other parts of Britain and 7% higher than in Europe’s economic powerhouse, Germany.


Law firm announces landmark transgender policy – Law Gazette

A national firm employing nearly 3,000 people hopes a new diversity policy will help to attract and retain transgender staff.

Irwin Mitchell wants the policy, which addresses gender identity and expression, to ensure staff at its 13 offices ‘are free to be themselves at work’.

In 2015, the Law Society published a practice note on working with transgender employees. Challenges faced by transgender lawyers was highlighted in a Gazette roundtable this year.

Irwin Mitchell drafted the policy after reviewing its existing framework protecting and supporting employees. The policy states that ‘providing a working environment that is free from discrimination, harassment or victimisation because of gender identity is an important step in ensuring that transgender employees are respected and valued’.


Virgin West Coast rail workers to strike – BBC News

RMT members on working on Virgin West Coast have voted 9-1 to take action, including strike action, over pay.

The union said nearly 1,800 workers including train managers and on-board catering workers on the West Coast route from Glasgow to Euston took part.

The RMT said it wanted a “suitable and equal” pay offer to the £500 one given to drivers.


SSE merger with npower should be blocked by government, says union – The Guardian

The business secretary, Greg Clark, has been urged by the GMB union to block the merger of two of the UK’s biggest energy companies over fears the plan would create a private cartel and reduce competition.

The proposed merger of npower and SSE would see the “big six” that dominate the energy market shrink to the big five, a move the GMB said would exacerbate the market’s current failings.

The plan is subject to approval by shareholders and clearance from the UK and EU competition watchdogs, and is regarded by experts as far from being a done deal.

Author David Ralph

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