Reform the National Minimum Wage to allow profit-share enterprises

Simply that the burden of paying the National Minimum Wage should be lifted from enterprises where the Employee or Worker has a share in any profits or gross earnings of that enterprise.

Why is this idea important?

Simply that the burden of paying the National Minimum Wage should be lifted from enterprises where the Employee or Worker has a share in any profits or gross earnings of that enterprise.

Fair trading regulations

It should be against international law for importers to avoid health and safety regulations by getting goods made in countries that do not meet these regulations. We should only be able to buy/import goods from countries that meet the same, or better health and safety regulations, as companies in the UK have to meet.

Why is this idea important?

It should be against international law for importers to avoid health and safety regulations by getting goods made in countries that do not meet these regulations. We should only be able to buy/import goods from countries that meet the same, or better health and safety regulations, as companies in the UK have to meet.

Honesty from businesses in financial difficulties

Many people have probably worked for the type of small to medium sized family business which goes through financial difficulties in the full knowledge that they won't survive.

These sorts of businesses seem to fly under the radar of regulations while others have masses and masses of regulations to adhere to.  For example, it is difficult enforcing a tribunal decision for non payment of wages with these types of businesses, as after the business has folded and the directors have employed clever accountants to ensure their own family is secure a tribunal decision can be unenforceable.

Businesses should have a duty to inform their employees if they know full well that they are going to have to close down as soon as they have such knowledge, before they start siphoning off money to ensure the security of themselves.

The relevant legislation needs to be looked at in this area to ensure employees of such small to medium sized family run businesses are protected just as much as employees of the larger companies.

Why is this idea important?

Many people have probably worked for the type of small to medium sized family business which goes through financial difficulties in the full knowledge that they won't survive.

These sorts of businesses seem to fly under the radar of regulations while others have masses and masses of regulations to adhere to.  For example, it is difficult enforcing a tribunal decision for non payment of wages with these types of businesses, as after the business has folded and the directors have employed clever accountants to ensure their own family is secure a tribunal decision can be unenforceable.

Businesses should have a duty to inform their employees if they know full well that they are going to have to close down as soon as they have such knowledge, before they start siphoning off money to ensure the security of themselves.

The relevant legislation needs to be looked at in this area to ensure employees of such small to medium sized family run businesses are protected just as much as employees of the larger companies.

Amend or Repeal Employment Act 1980&1982, Trade Union Act 1984 and Employment Act 1988

The all-but complete removal of the working persons right to withdraw their labour, to picket and therefore to defend and fight for rights and safety in the workplace has been systematically destroyed by these Acts.

At the every least recognised trades unions should not be under constant legal threat of injunction against industrial action for petty and ridiculous "infringements" of ballot rules (eg BA stopping cabin crew action without any real legitimate cause, merely a legal nicety).

Why is this idea important?

The all-but complete removal of the working persons right to withdraw their labour, to picket and therefore to defend and fight for rights and safety in the workplace has been systematically destroyed by these Acts.

At the every least recognised trades unions should not be under constant legal threat of injunction against industrial action for petty and ridiculous "infringements" of ballot rules (eg BA stopping cabin crew action without any real legitimate cause, merely a legal nicety).

Restoring worker’s rights

Repealing all anti trade union legislation that has been introduced since the 1970's to allow  trade unions to be able to fully support their members in order that their rights to campaign to improve their working conditions are protected. These laws include:

  • The 1980 Employment Act
  • The 1982 Employment Act
  • The 1984 Trade Union Act
  • The 1988 Employment Act
  • The 1989 Employment Act
  • The 1990 Employment Act
  • The 1993 Employment Act
  • 1999 Employment Relations Act

Why is this idea important?

Repealing all anti trade union legislation that has been introduced since the 1970's to allow  trade unions to be able to fully support their members in order that their rights to campaign to improve their working conditions are protected. These laws include:

  • The 1980 Employment Act
  • The 1982 Employment Act
  • The 1984 Trade Union Act
  • The 1988 Employment Act
  • The 1989 Employment Act
  • The 1990 Employment Act
  • The 1993 Employment Act
  • 1999 Employment Relations Act

Work permits

 Whilst there have been calls from big business to allow immigration and the granting of work permits in the past it appears that the granting of work permits have been due to hiring lower cost workers rather than more productive ones.

 Experience in the IT industry indicates that those who have gained work permits have often done so under false pretences, especially with regards to bogus qualifications which appear to be available for a small fee in some parts of the world.

 Therefore I find it to be a gross injustice that foreign workers can keep EU nationals out of a job when unemployment is high and our education has been paid for by the taxpayer.

 My solution to the tens of thousands of economic migrants would be to publish the qualifications required for their posts, i.e. the qualifications they hold which no EU applicant was able to match under the terms of their wp, such that jobseekers can better themselves to 'shoot' for the position which is covered by the work permit.  

 This would clearly give a huge incentive to jobseekers. They would be able to see a clear advantage to gaining certain skills in order to fill posts currently held by wp holders.  It would also prevent businesses from retaining wp staff, and is sadly often the case replacing domestic staff with wp applicants, purely due to their lower wage demands.

Why is this idea important?

 Whilst there have been calls from big business to allow immigration and the granting of work permits in the past it appears that the granting of work permits have been due to hiring lower cost workers rather than more productive ones.

 Experience in the IT industry indicates that those who have gained work permits have often done so under false pretences, especially with regards to bogus qualifications which appear to be available for a small fee in some parts of the world.

 Therefore I find it to be a gross injustice that foreign workers can keep EU nationals out of a job when unemployment is high and our education has been paid for by the taxpayer.

 My solution to the tens of thousands of economic migrants would be to publish the qualifications required for their posts, i.e. the qualifications they hold which no EU applicant was able to match under the terms of their wp, such that jobseekers can better themselves to 'shoot' for the position which is covered by the work permit.  

 This would clearly give a huge incentive to jobseekers. They would be able to see a clear advantage to gaining certain skills in order to fill posts currently held by wp holders.  It would also prevent businesses from retaining wp staff, and is sadly often the case replacing domestic staff with wp applicants, purely due to their lower wage demands.

Repeal trades union laws- improve trades union freedom

Repeal all anti trades union legislation and replace with the following bill of rights:

 

Protection for individuals involved in lawful industrial action

  • Dismissals in anticipation of, during or after lawful industrial action should be void and ineffective, unless the employer can show that the reason for the dismissal was not connected to the industrial action.
  • It should also be automatically unfair for an employer to dismiss an employee once he or she returns to work following lawful industrial action.  This will act as a powerful disincentive to employers from employing replacement staff and making strikers redundant.
  • Interim relief should be available in all unfair dismissal claims relating to lawful industrial action and employees who have been unfairly dismissed should be entitled to automatic reinstatement if they request it.
  • All workers should be protected from suffering detriment or for being sued for damage as a result of their taking part in industrial action other than appropriate deductions from wages for work not done due to industrial action.

Industrial action notices

  • A trade union should only be obliged to give a minimum of 7 days notice to the employer of the proposed commencement of industrial action. 
  • The nature of the information which must be included in the notice should be substantially simplified.  Unions should be required only to inform the employer of the category of workers, of the nature of industrial action, and when action will commence.
  • A trade union should also not lose its immunity for taking industrial action where it accidentally includes an insignificant amount of inaccurate information in a notice to the employer.
  • An employer should be under a duty to co-operate when requested by the union by supplying relevant information needed to enable the union to comply with notice and balloting requirements.  Where the employer refuses to supply the necessary information, a subsequent application for an interim injunction to prevent industrial action should fail.

Industrial action ballots

  • A trade union should not lose its protection from taking industrial action where it accidentally fails to comply with balloting rules but the mistake would have no material impact on the outcome of the ballot.
  • The current bar on industrial action where there has been a prior call should be removed.

Industrial action injunctions

  • The law on interim injunctions should be revised to provide that an interim injunction shall not be granted unless it can be shown that the employer is more likely to succeed than the union at trial.  A similar requirement in relation to interim injunctions to restrain media publication is found in s12(3) of the Human Rights Act 1998.

Trade disputes and supportive action

  • The definition of a trade dispute should be amended to include disputes concerning a future employer and future terms and conditions of employment, in the context of a transfer of part of a business. 
  • The definition of a trade dispute should be amended to include disputes between workers and their employer and any associated employer.  
  • Supportive action should be permitted against a company to which work or production has been transferred in connection with a trade dispute.
  • Supportive action should be permitted where a union reasonably believes that an intervention by a principal supplier or customer has caused or substantially contributed to the proposal or decision which is the subject of a primary trade dispute.

In this second category of supportive action the primary trade dispute which would be about a proposal or decision of the employer, which has been rejected by workers, for example to:

    • make a detrimental change to terms and conditions of employment;
    • discipline,
    • dismiss workers,
    • make workers redundant; or
    • to hire replacement labour to do the work which would otherwise have been undertaken by workers who are taking industrial action or who it is anticipated will be taking industrial action
  • A union would be required to hold a ballot and give notice before taking any form of supportive action.
  • In addition, the remaining bar on industrial action by prison officers should be removed by the repeal of section 127 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

Non-replacement of those taking lawful industrial action

  • In addition to employment agencies being barred from supplying agency workers to carry out work being carried out by an individual taking lawful industrial action, a correlative duty should be placed on employers to inform any agency that industrial action is taking place.  It should also be unlawful for employers to hire agency workers to carry out work normally done by workers involved in lawful industrial action.

Why is this idea important?

Repeal all anti trades union legislation and replace with the following bill of rights:

 

Protection for individuals involved in lawful industrial action

  • Dismissals in anticipation of, during or after lawful industrial action should be void and ineffective, unless the employer can show that the reason for the dismissal was not connected to the industrial action.
  • It should also be automatically unfair for an employer to dismiss an employee once he or she returns to work following lawful industrial action.  This will act as a powerful disincentive to employers from employing replacement staff and making strikers redundant.
  • Interim relief should be available in all unfair dismissal claims relating to lawful industrial action and employees who have been unfairly dismissed should be entitled to automatic reinstatement if they request it.
  • All workers should be protected from suffering detriment or for being sued for damage as a result of their taking part in industrial action other than appropriate deductions from wages for work not done due to industrial action.

Industrial action notices

  • A trade union should only be obliged to give a minimum of 7 days notice to the employer of the proposed commencement of industrial action. 
  • The nature of the information which must be included in the notice should be substantially simplified.  Unions should be required only to inform the employer of the category of workers, of the nature of industrial action, and when action will commence.
  • A trade union should also not lose its immunity for taking industrial action where it accidentally includes an insignificant amount of inaccurate information in a notice to the employer.
  • An employer should be under a duty to co-operate when requested by the union by supplying relevant information needed to enable the union to comply with notice and balloting requirements.  Where the employer refuses to supply the necessary information, a subsequent application for an interim injunction to prevent industrial action should fail.

Industrial action ballots

  • A trade union should not lose its protection from taking industrial action where it accidentally fails to comply with balloting rules but the mistake would have no material impact on the outcome of the ballot.
  • The current bar on industrial action where there has been a prior call should be removed.

Industrial action injunctions

  • The law on interim injunctions should be revised to provide that an interim injunction shall not be granted unless it can be shown that the employer is more likely to succeed than the union at trial.  A similar requirement in relation to interim injunctions to restrain media publication is found in s12(3) of the Human Rights Act 1998.

Trade disputes and supportive action

  • The definition of a trade dispute should be amended to include disputes concerning a future employer and future terms and conditions of employment, in the context of a transfer of part of a business. 
  • The definition of a trade dispute should be amended to include disputes between workers and their employer and any associated employer.  
  • Supportive action should be permitted against a company to which work or production has been transferred in connection with a trade dispute.
  • Supportive action should be permitted where a union reasonably believes that an intervention by a principal supplier or customer has caused or substantially contributed to the proposal or decision which is the subject of a primary trade dispute.

In this second category of supportive action the primary trade dispute which would be about a proposal or decision of the employer, which has been rejected by workers, for example to:

    • make a detrimental change to terms and conditions of employment;
    • discipline,
    • dismiss workers,
    • make workers redundant; or
    • to hire replacement labour to do the work which would otherwise have been undertaken by workers who are taking industrial action or who it is anticipated will be taking industrial action
  • A union would be required to hold a ballot and give notice before taking any form of supportive action.
  • In addition, the remaining bar on industrial action by prison officers should be removed by the repeal of section 127 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

Non-replacement of those taking lawful industrial action

  • In addition to employment agencies being barred from supplying agency workers to carry out work being carried out by an individual taking lawful industrial action, a correlative duty should be placed on employers to inform any agency that industrial action is taking place.  It should also be unlawful for employers to hire agency workers to carry out work normally done by workers involved in lawful industrial action.

Removing overly-prescriptive regulations on trade union ballots

Repeal of sections 227-235 inclusive of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 and their replacement with a simpler, less prescriptive code drawn up in consultation with trade union membership.

Why is this idea important?

Repeal of sections 227-235 inclusive of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 and their replacement with a simpler, less prescriptive code drawn up in consultation with trade union membership.