Employment law stories in the news this week – 16.09.2013 to 22.09.2013

hmctsIn the latest of our series of posts on stories that relate to employment law that have hit the news in the last week we take a look at a number of employment law policy commitments that Labour have made at their annual conference, a race discrimination claim that has run for over 14 years and the launch of a database by the Ministry of Justice

  1. Labour ‘apprentice for each foreign worker’ scheme – Labour has said it plans to make large companies train a new apprentice for each skilled worker they hire from outside the EU. The policy would create up to 125,000 high quality apprenticeships over the next parliament, the party said (BBC)
  2. Ed Miliband: Labour will increase national minimum wage – Labour will increase the national minimum wage, Ed Miliband declared as he set out his party’s plans to help people struggling with the rising cost of living (The Guardian)
  3. Shropshire college must pay out £25,000 in race discrimination Employment Tribunal case – Bosses at a Shropshire college have been forced to pay out more than £25,000 after the UK’s longest-ever running race discrimination case ended (The Shropshire Star)
  4. Novartis eye care unit hit by China bribery claims – Novartis says it is investigating claims that its eye care unit, Alcon, bribed doctors in over 200 hospitals in China to promote its lens implants (BBC)
  5. Labour Party lays out plans for “granny leave” – Women who look after their grandchildren would be entitled to “granny leave” from their own jobs under a key pledge expected to be included in Labour’s 2015 election manifesto (The Independent)
  6. UK government betraying new mothers, says Yvette Cooper – The shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, has accused the government of betraying new mothers by making it harder for women to tackle employer discrimination (The Guardian)
  7. IER think tank offers policy proposals on zero-hours contracts – Following Business Secretary Vince Cable’s announcement this week that a consultation will be launched into zero-hours contracts, the Institute of Employment Rights (IER) published policy proposals that aim to eradicate the exploitation of workers while retaining a degree of flexibility for businesses (IER)
  8. Tribunal launches immigration and asylum appeal decisions database – the Ministry of Justice announced this week that it has launched an open source database to allow persons to search for immigration and asylum appeal decisions. It is expected to roll out this database to include Employment Appeal Tribunal decisions in the future (Ministry of Justice)
  9. Lambeth Palace in ‘zero hours contracts’ controversy – The Church of England has disclosed that catering staff and security guards at Lambeth Palace, the Most Rev Justin Welby’s official residence in London, are employed on a casual or temporary basis with no specific guarantee of a minimum amount of work (The Telegraph)