Tag Archives: employment rights

In protecting the liberal age, the charge of elitism must be avoided

There is a sense that if an election happens at any time in the next year, it will be fought out as much on values as economic policy. The argument is no longer just about fairness and equality. It is also about a philosophy of life.

Fears that the liberal age is now under threat both from Right and Left has the potential to galvanise those who have previously taken our liberal traditions for granted. The #libdemfightback has the potential to happen.

Identifying the 48% Remain voters as fertile ground for the Liberal Democrats was a fast and valid response, not just a sound political gambit for a party polling so low but one that was true to the party’s internationalist values.

Remain voters are desperate to embrace a coherent narrative and the liberal attitudes held by many of them will only turn into Lib Dem votes if that narrative is provided.

But that should only be the beginning. The Lib Dems must also respond powerfully and clearly to the illiberal, isolationist and anti-elite sentiment that lay behind Brexit.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 23 Comments

Cable backs right to strike and opposes strikes

Vince Cable speaking to mediaQuoted in the Independent

We believe that getting round the negotiating table is better than striking.

We do not believe unions should be striking and causing mass disruption when everyone has been affected by similar pay conditions.

This reflects the fact that a better deal for one group of public sector workers would be paid for out of taxes on other workers, that the strikes if successful would not win a better deal for working people in general, rather for some at the expense of others. There is …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 78 Comments

Opinion: We need zero tolerance for zero hours contracts

Lego WorkersThis week Labour began to move the economic debate away from deficit reduction to living standards. It really is a shame that the party elected in 1997 to tackle social mobility and subsequently failed to shorten the gap between the richest and poorest in our society now seem to stand up for working families in hard economic times. Wednesday saw Ed Miliband’s dismal attempt to rekindle his relationship with the TUC but for me he did touch on an issue close to my heart; he committed to legislating to curb the use of zero hour contracts.

I have to admit a special interest, I have worked for a company that uses zero hour contracts for about a year. I myself am not on a zero hour contract. I am also a student and understand the level of flexibility that is required by some people. However I refuse to accept that flexibility cannot be achieved while providing income stability, holiday pay and a safety net for when you fall ill. It is also not constructive for a company to build a relationship with its staff using zero hour contracts resulting in a large staff turnover and an unhealthy competition for hours.

Posted in Conference and Op-eds | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

Opinion: Time for a grown-up workplace partnership

The Tories hate trade unions. In the context of the Social Liberal Forum’s conference on 13 July in Manchester, with the theme “Ownership and Democracy – where does power lie?” the Tories’ policies regarding the unions have been to try to remove as much power and as many rights from them as possible, in order to free up company bosses to use their power as they see fit without the need to discuss their plans with the workforce.

The problem with strengthening corporate power while weakening trade union and individual rights is that it allows a return to working conditions …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 30 Comments

Opinion: Let’s unite against George Osborne’s employee rights grab

George Osborne has many faults, but we have to thank him for one thing – uniting the Liberal Democrats. There are groups within the Lib Dems holding different, even opposite views. However, many Lib Dems are united in their opposition to Osborne’s idea of exchanging workers’ rights for shares in their company.  If you agree, please help us by taking part in the consultation on these proposals which ends on 8th November.

Whilst the Lib Dems are fully behind the idea of Employee Share

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 16 Comments

Opinion: Shares for Rights? An open letter to Nick Clegg

Dear Nick

Like most people I have spoken to this week I had imagined that Osborne’s announcement of “shares-for-rights” was for the Tory conference audience, and would not see its way into government policy, not at least while the Liberal Democrats are part of the government.

Yet today I read in Tim Gordon’s weekly update that we actually are supporting this as a promotion of employee ownership! Nick, it is anything but!!

Posted in Op-eds and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , and | 32 Comments

How does UK employee protection compare with other countries?

Rather handily, the OECD complies a set of international indicators of employee protection, the latest version of which was revised in September 2010, using 2008 data. The survey looks at “the procedures and costs involved in dismissing individuals or groups of workers and the procedures involved in hiring workers on fixed-term or temporary work agency contracts”.

What does it show?

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 10 Comments

Liberal Democrats block David Cameron’s plans to erode workers’ rights

Another glimpse into what a Tory Britain would look like comes in today’s Independent which reports that the Liberal Democrats in the shape of Business Secretary Vince Cable have fended off an attempt by the Prime Minister to erode the rights of employees. Adrian Beecroft, a venture capitalist who has donated almost £600,000 to the Conservative Party, produced a report last year which has so far not been published, which is believed to include proposals to allow employers to fire unproductive workers and cut entitlement to maternity leave.

The Tories, says the Independent, from David Cameron down, wanted to implement this …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 8 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarTom Harney 15th Nov - 2:55am
    I am still waiting to hear what precisely the party wants to happen now. In other words what exactly is the party’s policy? Little things...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 15th Nov - 12:11am
    We get it Martin, that you are very pro EU and Remain . But really, every organisation should be accountable with some scrutiny. Are you...
  • User AvatarGlenn 15th Nov - 12:00am
    Frankie What do you mean by "you wanted it hard", are the odd connotations in your phrasing deliberate? The last time it was something about...
  • User AvatarMartin 14th Nov - 11:46pm
    Caron Lindsay: "the EU needs its backside kicking in many ways" Perhaps it would be useful if you could explain. I am not at all...
  • User AvatarMike Norman 14th Nov - 11:46pm
    Speaking as a housing solicitor who has done duty desk at several courts in South West/Wales since this policy commenced: time and again, we hear...
  • User AvatarTonyH 14th Nov - 10:51pm
    Christine is very good in this interview. No running down the interviewer's rabbit holes, just clear, unashamed, principled and pro-EU.