North West: Employment Law Update 2011

Tuesday 22nd November 2011 The Institute’s annual Employment Law Update Conference organised in association with the TUC and Old Square Chambers and sponsored by UCU, Unite, URTU, and UNISON took place at the Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool and was a thouoght provoking and informative day.

17th August 2022 – 1:34 am

Tuesday 22nd November 2011

The Institute’s annual Employment Law Update Conference organised in association with the TUC and Old Square Chambers and sponsored by UCU, Unite, URTU, and UNISON took place at the Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool and was a thouoght provoking and informative day.

About the Conference

Once again, the annual IER employment law update conference in the North West, organised in association with the TUC and Old Square Chambers, was a popular event with over 60 delegates attending. Unfortunately, a number of speakers were unable to attend at short notice, resulting in several late changes to the platform, and we were grateful to those people who willingly stepped-in at the last moment, as well as to delegates for their understanding.

The day began with and Lynn Collins Regional Office (FE) for UCU in the North West who shone a spotlight on the education sector, looking in particular at changes such as the introduction of free schools, removal of EMA, casualtion of staff and removal of national conditions and national pay bargaining.

Lynn was followed by Keith Patten from Thomspons Solicitors who spoke about de-regulation of health and Safety and the implications of the soon to be published Loftstedt review. More information about the de-regulation of health and safety can be found in the Institute’s publication Regulatory Surrender (LINK).

Binder Bansel of Pattinson and Brewer Solicitors gave an overview of changes to employment law, including corporate responsibility, agency workers, proposed changes to employment tribunal litigation and gold plating of EU Directives.

Afer the break, Adrian Weir from Unite gave a frank analysis of the government’s media manipulation that promotes their right wing agenda. Issues touched on included further undermining of workers rights and collective action through potential changes to ballots on industrial action, abolition of facility time, and unfair dismissal claims.

Sarah Veale of the TUC followed this with a speech packed full of facts and arguments to counter the Con Dem government’s line of attack. This included reference to the OECD recent assessment of the positive impact of employment regulations on economic growth http://www.oecd.org/document/38/0,3746,en_2649_33927_36261286_1_1_1_1,00.html) and the Department for Busines Innovation and Skills (BIS) own impact assessment on resolving workplace disputes that struggled to demonstrate any causal link between unfair dismissal protection and job creation. http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/employment-matters/docs/r/11-512-resolving-workplace-disputes-impact-assessment.pdf. Sarah’s recent article for Left Foot Forward details her arguments in full

After lunch, Steve Cottingham of OH Parsons looked at Blacklisting, particularly in the construction industry and Giles Powell from Old Square chambers talked about some recent decisions of the Court of Appeal that, suprisingly, indicate a shift in favour of a less restrictive application of the legislation, and the day was rounded off by Sarah Veale from the TUC, whose inspiring talk about where we go from here was warmly received.