TUCHow ‘temporary’ are temporary workers? - Hundreds of thousands of agency workers across the UK will benefit from improved working conditions now that the new equal treatment rights for temps has come into effect (from Saturday 1 October 2011).  

Unlike fixed-term employees & part-time workers, until now agency workers have not had a right to the same pay & holiday rights as directly employed staff in the same workplace.  This lack of rights has left them open to abuse, says the TUC.

According to the Labour Force Survey (LFS), the average agency worker gets 5 days less holiday a year than permanent employees and temps earned on average 68% of the pay of permanent workers.  However, following years of campaigning by unions, agency workers will now benefit from new, improved rights at work.

From the first day of an assignment, agency temps working in the private, public or voluntary sector will have a right to use any facilities provided by the hirer - such as a crèche, canteen or transport services.  They will also be entitled to information about internal vacancies at the company they are working for, and to be given the opportunity to apply for them.

After 12 weeks in the same role with the same hirer, agency workers will be entitled to the same pay, holiday entitlement & working hours as permanent staff and they will also receive improved maternity rights.
Press release & links ~ TUC Guide to the Agency Workers ~ BIS: Agency Workers Regulations Guidance ~ BIS: Agency Worker Directive and Regulations 2010 ~ CIPD guidance ~ Business Link: Taking on Agency workers ~ AWR guidance ~ Employment Agency Standards inspectorate ~ BL: Responsibilities as employment agency ~ Directgov: Agency workers and employment agencies

EU NewsThe money raised would not go to meet the original aims of a Tobin Tax – Last week the Commission has presented a proposal for a financial transaction tax in the 27 Member States of the European Union.  The tax would be levied on all transactions on financial instruments between financial institutions when at least one party to the transaction is located in the EU.

The exchange of shares and bonds would be taxed at a rate of 0.1% and derivative contracts, at a rate of 0.01%.  This could approximately raise €57bn every year.  The Commission has proposed that the tax should come into effect from 1 January 2014. The revenues of the tax would be shared between the EU and the Member States.  

The financial transaction tax aims at taxing the 85% of financial transactions that take place between financial institutions.  House mortgages, bank loans, insurance contracts and other normal financial activities carried out by individuals or small businesses fall outside the scope of the proposal.
Press release & links ~ CBI comment ~ TUC comment ~ iea comment ~ ASI: Tobin Tax would be economic suicide ~ Executive summary: The Tobin tax – reason or treason? ~ Tobin tax: could it work? ~ Previous EU News ~ Political Will can Unlock $100bn in Climate Finance

TUCEmployee Ageism consigned to scrapheap - Anyone who turns 65 after last Friday will no longer lose their job simply because of their age.  Under the Default Retirement Age (DRA0, which the government began phasing out from April this year, employers have been able to retire people on their 65th birthday for no other reason than their age.

But for anyone who turns 65 now (or who is under 65), but hasn't been given six months notice,
employers now have to justify why they want to retire a member of staff.

The TUC and the Charted Institute for Personal and Development (CIPD) have recently published guidance for staff & employers on managing age in the workplace, which offers best practice guidance on working without a retirement age.
Press release & links ~ Managing Age – 2011 Edition ~ CIPD survey, Employee Outlook: focus on the ageing workforce ~ Requesting to work past retirement ~ Acas: Age Discrimination ~ Pension Service ~ UK Older People's Day ~ Full of Life government campaign ~  The Generation Factor ~ DWP – Aging Society ~ DWP – Aging Society ~ Don't Stop Me Now: Preparing for an ageing population ~ Empowering Engagement: A stronger voice for older people  - The Government response to John Elbourne’s review ~ Independent Review of Older People’s Engagement with Government ~ Age Positive publications ~ Intergenerational Demonstrator Programme: Generations together ~ Launch of Age Action Alliance

DUKHelp ‘Beat’ Diabetes - ‘Help Diabeates’, a new campaign to encourage people with diabetes to give permission to be approached about taking part in clinical research studies, has been launched.  The campaign, which is being support by Diabetes UK, is from the Diabetes Research Network (DRN).
Press release & links

DCMS:  Royal occasions by Royal permission - Applications are now open for the commemorative use of Royal names & titles for community events, buildings and projects for Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee, which takes place next year.  A blanket approval is in place for the use of ‘Diamond Jubilee’ and ‘Jubilee’ for non-commercial purposes.
Anyone wishing to use phrases such as ‘Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee,’ ‘Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee,’ or ‘The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee’ to name a community hall,  commemorative garden or other building/ project, will need to apply for permission to do so.
Press release & links

Latest White PaperPublic Sector Information Security Threats - Information is the lifeblood of all public sector organisations, and thanks to modern computing technology, that information can be easily shared with colleagues, clients and suppliers. As our dependency on computers and technology deepens, so do the risks and threats to those systems. These threats range from curious teenagers to disgruntled employees, activists and criminals.
Just as computers and networks have evolved to enable your organisation to be more productive, so have the threats. The traditional insider threat still remains, and as technology progresses, so have the knowledge, capabilities, sophistication and profiles of the external threat sources. Understanding what you are trying to protect and your threat sources is critical to deploying the controls that protect against those threats.

Public sector information security/protection is no longer the sole preserve of IT departments and requires a level of input and understanding from senior management and departmental heads.

A recent paper from leading independent information security expert Brian Honan, highlights and discusses in plain terms the range of internal and external threats to your organisations.
Click here to receive your free copy.

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