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Posted by: Max Crowhurst


May outlines plans for UK’s departure date from the EU. The official withdrawal bill will be amended formally at 23:00 on GMT Friday 29th of March 2019. The UK is due to leave the European Union after 2016’s referendum in which 51.9% of voters backed Brexit. Theresa May has said that the decision to put a specific time of Brexit on the front of the bill showed the government was determined to see the process through. Her exact words were ‘It will be there in black and white on the front page of the historic piece of legislation.’ Labour MP and remain campaigner Chuka Umunna said that many experts believed the leaving date did not give enough time for negotiations. The draft legislation has already passed its second reading and now faces several attempts to amend it at the next stage. Mrs May has said that most people want MPs to come together to negotiate, adding that MPs on all sides should help scrutinise the bill and that the government would listen if politicians had any ideas to improve it. May warned against attempts to halt the process saying that they wont be tolerated. (Source – BBC)

Gender pay gap will take 100 years to close campaign warns. Campaigners highlight 10th November as the point in 2017 when a woman on an average wage stops being paid relative to her male counterparts. In some parts of the UK however this gap is so wide, it is equal to women working unpaid from September. Campaign group the Fawcett Society said that progress in closing the pay gap has stalled and Vivienne Hayes of the Women’s Resource Centre said progress had moved at a snail’s pace. If the gap continues to move at this pace, the average pay gap for full time workers of 14.1% won’t reach 0% until 2117. The government continues to urge large firms to disclose their pay gap, but will not force them to comply. Out 206 local authority areas men in full time jobs earn more on average than women in 183 of them, but this varies from place to place. The top 10 areas include the City of London, Tower Hamlets, and the financial area of Canary Wharf. It isn’t always the case of the cap being highest in these lucrative areas. Wales has the highest percentage, in Blaenau Gwent the average man is paid an hourly rate of £14.07 this is has a 32% difference to the hourly rate for women on £9.54. The UK ranks 20th out of 144 countries around the world for closing the gender pay, with no country having absolute equality. In Iceland, which is ranked best in the World Economic Forum, women walked out of their workplaces at 14:38 on the 24th October 2016 in protest at the gap. According to unions this was the time of day women began working unpaid relative to men. (Source-BBC)

UK employment court rules landmark case which could affect the tens of thousands of workers in the gig economy. The Uber app could now be open to claims for 40,000 drivers in the UK, who as it stands are not entitled to holiday pay, pensions or other workers rights. Uber has appealed against the ruling. Other firms with large self-employed workforces could now face scrutiny of their working practices. The UK’s biggest union, Unite, announced it was setting up a new unit to pursue cases of bogus self employment. Four courier firms are already facing legal action from cyclists who want similar recognition as staff employees. The Uber ruling could force a rethink of the gig economy business model where firms do not employ the workers directly but take commission from their earnings. The government has recently announced a six-month review of modern working practices and HMRC have since set up a new unit, the Employment Status and Intermediaries team to investigate such firms. (Source – Guardian)

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