Support the Postie strikes


Post Office workers are to stage fresh strikes in escalating action over pay, their union has announced.

Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) will walk out on August 26, 27, and 30, with some of the action coinciding with strikes by BT, Openreach, and Royal Mail employees.

It will be the fourth round of action by Post Office workers, including in larger high street “Crown” offices, administration, and across the supply chain.

Around 2,000 workers will walk out on August 26, the same day as 115,000 postmen and women from all parts of Britain go on strike in a separate row over pay.

Crown office employees will strike again on August 27, while supply chain and admin members of the union will walk out on August 30.

CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey said: “We’re as determined as we have ever been to keep fighting and win a settlement that will protect our members’ standard of living through these exceptionally difficult economic times.”

Pat Harrington, General Secretary of Solidarity, commented:

“Postal workers are right to strike in the face of an unreasonable, below inflation, pay offer. We must give them whatever support we can. The strikers are fighting against the lie that workers must pay for the economic mismanagement of government and that they should take real-term pay cuts while firms pay dividends out.

Cost of Living Crisis: Unions say the poorest should not be hit hardest


Bank of England boss Andrew Bailey said workers, many of whom have suffered years of stagnating pay and soaring prices, should not get real-terms wages rises, claiming there is a risk of runaway inflation becoming “embedded.

Mr Bailey, who earns £575,000 a year including pensions, made the comments a day after he introduced the single biggest rise in interest rates – from 1.25 per cent to 1.75 – since 1995, despite his prediction that the economy is facing the beginning of its longest recession since the 2008 financial crash this autumn.

He also warned that the consumer prices index inflation rate would hit a staggering 42-year high of 13.3 per cent in October, well above the bank’s target of just 2 per cent.

The governor, who refused to be drawn on what an appropriate wage rise would be, is under increasing pressure amid Britain’s “summer of discontent” as rail workers, aviation staff, criminal barristers, Post Office employees and more strike against more than a decade of Tory austerity.

Mr Bailey acknowledged that the poorest are being affected most by the cost-of-living crisis but claimed: “If everybody tries to beat inflation it doesn’t come down, it gets worse.

“My key point is, if inflation becomes embedded and persistent, it gets worse and the effects get worse,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

The head of economics at one of the union federations, the TUC, Kate Bell slammed his remarks, saying: “After the longest and harshest wage squeeze in 200 years, working people in every part of the country are suffering a huge fall in living standards as prices soar.

“With incomes set to fall even further and the economy teetering on the brink of recession, it’s now more important than ever that workers need a pay rise.

“Without wage increases, working people will simply stop spending on anything non-essential – and that will hurt our high streets, damage business and make a recession very likely, putting jobs at risk up and down the country.

“Making sure people can put food on the table for their family is not going to push up inflation.

“’If the governor is worried that some workers might miss out on negotiated pay rises, he should encourage all workers to join a union.”

Labour MP Richard Burgon urged working-class people not to be intimidated, tweeting: “They don’t call it class war when they cut wages.

“They don’t call it class war when they slash benefits; they don’t call it class war when they hike prices – they only call it class war when people fight back.”

Economic think tank the Institute for Fiscal Studies echoed these concerns, and stressed that the winner of the Tory leadership contest between Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss needs to “find billions” to save vital public services including the NHS.

Director Paul Johnson said: “We are looking at potentially big real-terms cuts to some of the public services that are really struggling at the moment.”

Pat Harrington, General Secretary of Solidarity union, said: “The argument that higher wages automatically lead to inflation (higher prices) is false. It doesn’t take into account the relationship between wages and profits or costs and how far a company can raise its price without a backlash. To explain, very simply, a rise in wages obtained by workers, enabling them to meet the rising cost of living or better still to improve their standard of living, comes at the cost of less profit per unit of output for companies. This means they have less to spend on their own private consumption and/or to reinvest and expand production beyond what they have already produced. Clearly a lack of investment in research and development would have long term consequences but our current period of inflation is created by supply chain pressures mainly and can be solved fairly quickly given government action.

In most circumstances, the competitive pressures between rival capitalists in all sectors force a general alignment between the price of products and inputs of living labour and raw materials, energy, machine depreciation etc – companies can’t simply raise prices. Additionally, consumers can switch their buying preferences to leave companies that try to raise prices (few have monopolies).

A hit on the profits of companies is socially preferable to real-term wage cuts.

Do we need a general strike?


The threat of a ‘general strike’ over pay and working conditions is growing more likely, as unions representing teaching and outsourced cleaning and security staff prepare to ballot members amid the rising cost of living.

The warning comes as rail companies had the biggest walkout in 30 years last week.

The rail network ground to a standstill in this last week.

Network Rail has reportedly offered a 3% rise for one year, but Mick Lynch, general secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), told The Times newspaper he wanted a pay rise of more than 7%.

Lynch said the RMT’s campaign would continue until rail bosses met members’ demands.

He said he would support a general strike – the first since 1926 – if workers from other industries wanted to take action.

He told Sky News: “I think there are going to be many unions that are balloting across the country because people can’t take it anymore. We’ve got people doing full-time jobs who are having to take state benefits and use food banks. That is a national disgrace.

Strikes over pay

Real wages, adjusted for inflation, have fallen 2.2% in a year.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union chief, Mick Lynch, called for a general strike in retaliation to ministers’ threats to curb industrial action, warning of “the biggest resistance mounted by the entire trade union movement”.

Truss and her rival Tory leadership candidate, Rishi Sunak, have said they will ban strikes on essential public services like the railways, and Truss has said she would legislate for minimum service levels on critical national infrastructure in the first 30 days of government.

“It is completely wrong that the travelling public are being held ransom by militant unions,” Truss said last Tuesday. “I will take a tough line on trade union action that is not helping people get on in life.

Responding to the comments, Lynch said: “The proposals by Liz Truss amount to the biggest attack on trade union and civil rights since labour unions were legalised in 1871. Truss is proposing to make effective trade unionism illegal in Britain and to rob working people of a key democratic right.

If these proposals become law, there will be the biggest resistance mounted by the entire trade union movement, rivalling the general strike of 1926, the suffragettes and Chartism.

Asked if it would call a general strike, the TUC stressed “every strike is a democratic process”, but said: “It’s clear this Conservative government is not on the side of working people.

Pat Harrington, General Secretary of Solidarity union said:

2022 is shaping up to be a year of major upheaval. Around the world, people are fed up with their governments and are demanding change.

In response, many governments have turned to more draconian measures.

The UK government is considering proposals that would ban strikes by essential public sector workers, such as police officers, teachers, and healthcare workers.

The rationale for the proposed ban is that strikes by these workers can cause significant disruption to vital services. However, trade unions have criticized the proposal, arguing that it would deprive workers of their right to take industrial action. it’s sure to be a bumpy ride with unions rightly standing up for the rights of their members. Tory proposals may well lead to calls for a General Strike gaining support. The Tories are relying on a lack of response from union leaders. They may be mistaken.

The Strikers are fighting for us all says Pat Harrington


In the UK, workers are striking for a number of reasons. They’re fighting for better pay and working conditions, They are seeking higher wages in order to keep up with the rising cost of living. The average UK worker has seen their real wages fall by 10% since 2008, while the cost of living has risen by more than 20%. This means that workers are struggling to make ends meet and many are increasingly reliant on food banks and other forms of charity. The strikers are also calling for an end to zero-hours contracts, which leave workers unable to predict their income from one month to the next. These contracts can make it very difficult to budget and save for unexpected expenses. The strike action is unprecedented in recent years and is a sign of the growing frustration of workers who feel that they are being made to pay the cost of inept political leadership and economic management.

The prices of essentials like food and housing have been rising faster than wages for years, and people are struggling to make ends meet. The strikers believe that the only way to address the cost of living crisis is to fight for higher wages and better working conditions. By doing so, they hope to make life better for all those affected by the crisis.

Battle lines are being drawn

Unions are prepared to fight against real-term wage cuts for their members. There are some big battles on the way and everyone will have to decide which side they are on. For us it’s simple – we are on the side of the workers and against those who’ve caused the cost of living crisis and now expect ordinary people to pay for their mistakes. Here is a breakdown of some of the battles to come.

Rail workers

Around 50,000 rail workers in the RMT, Aslef, and TSSA unions are fighting over below-inflation pay offers, job cuts, and working conditions. RMT members are planning three 24-hour strikes on Wednesday 27 July, Wednesday 18 August, and Saturday 20 August. The union is also in dispute with Network Rail over plans to cut 1,500 jobs and close ticket offices. Aslef members are planning a 24-hour strike on Saturday 30 July. The union is in dispute with eight train operating companies over pay, rostering arrangements, and the introduction of driver-only operated trains. TSSA members are balloting for industrial action. The union is in dispute with Network Rail over pay and working conditions. All three unions are also in dispute with London Underground over the closure of ticket offices and the introduction of all-night Tube services. Industrial action is likely to cause widespread disruption to rail services across the country.

Posties and communication workers

Nearly all Royal Mail workers who voted supported going on strike in a huge 97.6 percent landslide, making it clear they are ready to battle their bosses. The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) members backed strikes by an overwhelming margin on a turnout of 77 percent in their fight against the imposition of a 2 percent pay increase by management. No strike days have been announced yet by the CWU. This follows other recent high-profile industrial disputes such as British Airways. Given the government’s attacks on workers’ rights, union membership has been growing recently as people look to emulate the success of French workers in fighting back against austerity. With such a massive show of support from CWU members, management at Royal Mail will be under pressure to start negotiating seriously or face the possibility of widespread disruption to mail services across the country.

Public service workers

PCS union members are demanding a 10 percent pay increase and a minimum wage of at least £15 an hour. The ballot is set to begin on 26 September and run for six weeks until 7 November. If the workers vote in favour of strike action, it could mean serious disruption for government departments across the UK. The union has already taken industrial action this year, with walkouts happening in May and June. Talks between the PCS and the government have so far failed to reach an agreement, with the union accusing the government of offering “derisory” pay rises. The workers are also angry about job losses and cuts to workplace benefits, such as pensions. With no end to the dispute in sight, it looks like we could see more industrial action from the PCS in the near future.


Teachers across schools in England will be consulted on strikes in the autumn. The Tory government wants to impose a 5 percent increase on teachers after recommendations from the School Teachers’ Review Body. When? NEU joint general secretary Kevin Courtney said the union would consult members on strikes in the autumn with “the largest ballot of teachers for a generation”. Meanwhile, the NASUWT said its executive would meet on September 14 to consider ballots for action. What’s the problem? Teachers say they have faced a real-terms pay cut since 2010 and that their pay has fallen behind other graduate professions. They also argue that increased workload and mounting pressure are making the profession unsustainable. The government says it has increased funding for schools and that teachers’ pay is a matter for individual headteachers. However, headteachers say they are being forced to make cuts because of reductions in funding. Low morale among teachers is having an impact on pupils, with around two-thirds of teachers saying they are considering leaving the profession, according to a recent survey.

NHS workers

The Tories are at it again! This time, they’re trying to push through a real-terms pay cut for NHS workers in England. With over one million NHS staff affected, including nurses, paramedics, and midwives, this is sure to be a controversial move.

Under the Tories’ plans, NHS workers would receive a pay increase of £1,400 a year. However, when inflation is taken into account, this actually amounts to a real-term pay cut of £200 a year for porters, £1,100 for nurses, and £1,500 for paramedics. The main health unions are understandably up in arms about this proposal.

It’s yet another example of the Tories’ complete disregard for the vital role that NHS staff play in our society. We all rely on the NHS when we’re sick or injured, and these dedicated workers deserve to be fairly compensated for their hard work. Imposing a pay cut on them is nothing short of disgraceful.

Fire and Rescue

The FBU union’s executive council has unanimously rejected a 2 percent pay offer from fire and rescue employers. The council says the offer is “insulting” and that plans are being prepared to develop a campaign for decent pay, including the possibility of strike action. With firefighters already among the lowest-paid workers in the public sector, the union is adamant that its members deserve a fair deal. It remains to be seen whether the employers will budge on their offer, but one thing is clear – the FBU is ready to fight for a better deal for its members.

Solidarity union backs our brothers and sisters 100 percent. We must back the strikes however we can. We must encourage other workers outside traditional union structures to organise and take action and co-ordinate our efforts. The strikers are fighting for us all by making it clear that ordinary people will not suffer impoverishment and cuts to their wages to pay for the mistakes of those who misgovern us. Political leaders haven’t fought for the people. The unions must.

By Patrick Harrington, General Secretary of Solidarity union



In a decision that has been widely reported in the press, a tribunal upheld Maya Forstater’s claims of direct discrimination because of her gender-critical beliefs.

After the EAT held last year that the gender critical beliefs held by the claimant (in particular a belief that biological sex is real and immutable and not to be conflated with gender identity) were protected beliefs under the Equality Act, the case returned to the tribunal in order for it to determine whether the claimant had been discriminated against because of those beliefs.

An employment tribunal unanimously ruled tax researcher Maya Forstater was directly discriminated against because of her ‘gender critical’ beliefs.

Maya Forstater has been at the centre of a high-profile legal battle to have so-called ‘gender critical’ views protected under equalities law. She claimed she was discriminated against because of her ‘gender-critical’ views when her contract was not renewed by the Center for Global Development (CGD), where she had worked as a contractor.

In June 2021, the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) found Forstater’s views did fall under the protected characteristic of “religion or belief” in the Equality Act 2010.

On 6 July 2022, the London Central Employment Tribunal determined that Forstater was discriminated against by the CDG, and that her job contract and visiting fellowship were not renewed because she held ‘gender critical’ beliefs.

The tribunal also ruled that Forstater’s complaint of victimisation was well-founded in respect of the removal of her profile from websites for CGD and its European branch.

However, Maya Forstater’s other complaints of harassment and indirect discrimination related to “sex and belief” were dismissed alongside another complaint of victimisation because the organisation withdrew an offer to engage with her as a consultant.

Forstater brought the case against CGD, where she formerly worked on a consultancy basis, claiming the think-tank discriminated against her by failing to renew her contract after colleagues complained about her anti-trans tweets.

Employment judge Glennie wrote in the ruling that Forstater’s ‘anti-trans’ tweets were “part of the reason” why she was not offered employment in the “shape of a senior fellowship”.

The ruling read: “Absent an explanation from the Respondents, the facts are such that the Tribunal could properly conclude that the tweets were a substantial part of the reason why Ms. Forstater was not offered employment; and the Respondent’s evidence, far from proving the contrary, supports the finding that they were.”

The tribunal also said it would be an “error to treat a mere statement of Ms. Forstater’s protected belief as inherently unreasonable or inappropriate”. It referred to the EAT’s judgment in the claim that beliefs “may well be profoundly offensive and even distressing to many others, but they are beliefs that are and must be tolerated in a pluralist society”.

It heard the tribunal had a “policy of retaining former Visiting Fellows on the Alumni Page”. CGD told the tribunal there was a “pre-existing policy of removing profiles of Visiting Fellows when they ceased to act as such”, which the tribunal said was “clearly incorrect”.

The tribunal said there was a “coincidence in the time” between Forstater launching a crowdfunding campaign and taking part in a Sunday Times article “both on 5 May 2019” and the removal of her profile on CGD’s websites on 9 May.

Glennie wrote CGD’s director of HR and administration, at the time of the events, “conceded as much” in his oral evidence that Forstater’s “profile was removed from the Alumni page because of the Sunday Times article”.

Glennie said the think tank advanced “what was subsequently accepted as an incorrect explanation” of Forstater’s profile being removed.

“Taken together, and in the absence of an adequate explanation, a Tribunal could properly infer that the incorrect account had been given in an attempt to avoid admitting that the profile had been removed because of the protected act,” Glennie wrote in the ruling.

The tribunal added that the offer to have Maya Forstater continue working as a consultant was “not withdrawn” as it was “Forstater who brought the relationship to an end”. As such, it found the “detriment therefore did not occur”, and Forstater’s complaint of victimisation was dismissed.

Patrick Harrington, General Secretary of Solidarity, commented: “As a first instance decision, the tribunal’s conclusions are not binding and it is clear from the tribunal’s detailed analysis that the question of whether a manifestation of belief is objectionable or inappropriate is going to be very fact sensitive.”

Maya Forstater released a statement that she is “pleased” with the ruling and believed her case matters for “everyone who believes in the importance of truth and free speech”.

(Forstater v CGD Europe and others)

What amounts to a protected belief?

The EAT has further clarified the test to be applied to determine whether a belief is protected under the Equality Act 2010. It confirmed that beliefs that may offend others can be protected beliefs, as long as they do not have the effect of destroying the rights of others.

In this case, a Christian health assessor who refused to use the preferred pronouns of transgender service users brought a claim for discrimination based on his religious or philosophical beliefs. The tribunal had found that whilst his Christianity was protected under the Equality Act, the specific gender-critical beliefs he relied on (including a lack of belief in transgenderism) were not protected as they were incompatible with human dignity and in conflict with the fundamental rights of others.

On appeal, the EAT overturned this aspect of the tribunal’s conclusions, finding that the tribunal had applied too high a threshold for the protection of a belief. The EAT said it is necessary for the threshold to be set at a low level to allow the protection of beliefs held to be acceptable by the majority but also the protection of minority beliefs, even where those beliefs might offend. The EAT held that certain of the claimant’s beliefs were protected beliefs under the Equality Act. However, it upheld the tribunal’s decision to dismiss his claims of direct discrimination, harassment, or indirect discrimination based on the facts of the case (including the fact that the employer investigated ways to accommodate his beliefs, such as moving him to a non-customer facing role).

(Mackereth v Department for Work and Pensions)



The Aslef train drivers’ union announced that 6,000 of its members at eight companies will strike on Saturday 30 July. And shortly afterward the RMT union announced a further two strikes on 18 and 20 August by 40,000 workers at Network Rail and 14 train operating companies.

It came a day after the RMT said they would walk out on 27 July—when they’ll also be joined by TSSA union members on the Avanti West Coast line.

Bosses at Network Rail offered a 4 percent increase backdated to January and 2 percent next year, a real terms pay cut when inflation soars to near 12 percent. Workers would also be made to achieve “modernisation milestones”.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said, “The offer from Network Rail represents a real terms pay cut for our members. The paltry sum is conditional on RMT members agreeing to drastic changes in their working lives.

“We have made progress on compulsory redundancies. But Network Rail is still seeking to make our members poorer when we have won in some cases double what they are offering, with other rail operators.

“The train operating companies remain stubborn and are refusing to make any new offer which deals with job security and pay.”

Everyone who is concerned about and affected by the cost of living crisis will cheer the RMT, ASLEF, and TSSA announcing strike actions.

For the unions to win and ensure that workers don’t pay for the mess that the government has made of the economy it will take a program of sustained, coordinated, and escalating strikes. The government has underestimated the resolve of ordinary workers to protect their incomes and working conditions.

The three days of rail strikes last month gained widespread support—and struck fear into the government and bosses.

Patrick Harrington, our General Secretary, and a former RMT Company Council Rep commented:

“All of us should work to build the biggest possible expression of solidarity on 27 July. During the last round, solidarity protests and rallies were a powerful show of support and would be again. Make sure that you donate to the RMT strike fund, sign the petition against agency workers, and attend your local picket lines where able.”

Victory to the railworkers!


This has been a big week for the trade union movement. The TUC Join a Union website is seeing record traffic, with visits last week up 800%.

As RMT members stand up for their jobs, pay, and our services, they are giving hope and confidence to millions of workers. The last few weeks have clearly shown that if you want a pay rise, a secure job, and a decent life, you need to be in a union.

More than that the RMT and its leader Mick Lynch have done a great job of telling people what a union is for and why workers shouldn’t be asked to pay for high inflation with real-term pay cuts.

It’s a message that is getting through to the wider public.


Independent polling released by the RMT found strong support for rail workers to receive a fairer deal and for the government to intervene to address the railworkers concerns. A clear majority of the public also supports the railworkers’ right to strike when negotiations fail.

In a blow to the rail companies and the government, the poll also revealed widespread opposition to plans to cut thousands of rail jobs and showed the public also clearly opposed the government policy of allowing profiteering from the rail industry.

The national poll of 2000 people carried out by Opinium found:

Only 17% support cuts to staff on trains and stations and only 16% support the cutting of safety-critical workers from inspecting and maintaining the rail tracks. Opposition to both of these measures is high at 63% and 70% respectively.

70% of the public believe that railworkers should have a negotiated pay rise that takes into account the cost of living, whilst just 11% disagree.

59% believe railworkers have the right to strike if negotiations fail and only 18% are against this.

62% believe that the government should intervene to ensure rail companies meet the railworkers’ concerns. Only 14% are against this

84% of the public believe the profits from the rail industry should be invested in protecting jobs and services, as opposed to the 16% who believe they should go towards shareholder dividends.

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch commented:

“This poll supports the evidence we’ve seen on picket lines this week. There is strong support for rail workers to receive a fairer deal and for the government to intervene to address railworkers concerns. A clear majority of the public also supports railworkers’ right to strike.

“There is also massive public opposition to plans to cut thousands of track, train, and station jobs and to the government’s policy of allowing profiteering from the rail industry.

“It’s time the government listened to the public instead of picking political fights with railworkers.”

Patrick Harrington, General Secretary of Solidarity, commented:

“The rail strike has become a focus for many working-class people’s anger at the Tories and the cost-of-living crisis.

“That’s why different groups of workers, some with their own pay disputes, are expressing solidarity with the RMT and visiting the picket lines to show support. I’d like Solidarity members to do whatever they can to ensure that railworkers win their Just fight. I know that times are tough for us all, but I’d urge you to make a small donation to their dispute fund here.

I’d also like you to say Hi to any pickets in your area at local stations and give them support and encouragement. Finally, I’d urge you to sign the petition against government plans to use scab labour against the strikers here.”

Bankers wax fat on our misery


At a time when workers are being asked for ‘pay restraint’ bonuses to fat-cat city bosses have hit a record high.

In March alone, finance chiefs in London shared £5.9 billion in bonuses as more than 16 million people in Britain face poverty and desperation.

Research by the TUC, based on figures from the Office for National Statistics, reveals that over the last year bonuses in the financial and insurance sector rocketed by 27.9 per cent.

Workers’ wages went up by only 4.2 per cent.

The figures put City bonuses at the highest since records began, and higher than the amounts bosses were paying themselves shortly before the global financial crash of 2008.

As bosses pocket their record gains, the Resolution Foundation expects the number of people in poverty in Britain to increase by 1.3 million this year – including 500,000 children – taking the total to 16.5 million, roughly a quarter of the population.

The TUC also reported continuing falls in the value of wages as bonuses soared.

Real wages across the economy are worth £68 less per month than a year ago, while the wages of public-sector workers fell even more – by £121 a month, said the TUC.

The fall in the value of workers’ wages for the whole of 2022 is expected to be at least £500.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “There is no justification for such obscene City bonuses at the best of times – let alone during a cost-of-living crisis.

“While City executives rake it in, millions are struggling to keep their heads above water.

“Working people are at breaking point, having been left badly exposed to soaring bills after a decade of standstill wages and universal credit cuts.

“Ministers have no hesitation in calling for public-sector pay restraint but ignore shocking City excess.

“It’s time to hold down bonuses at the top – not wages for everyone else.”

Ms O’Grady called on the government to clamp down on the “greedy bonus culture” by putting workers on company pay boards and introducing maximum pay ratios.

“And it’s time for the government to get wages rising across the economy by boosting the minimum wage immediately, funding decent pay rises for all public-sector workers and introducing fair pay agreements for whole industries,” she said.

The TUC is calling for government action including limits on bonuses as a percentage of total pay, availability of bonuses to all staff – not just fat-cat executives, public-sector pay rises in line with cost-of-living increases, and restoration of earnings lost over the last decade.

Corporate accountancy firm Deloitte has reported that the ratio of bosses’ pay to workers’ pay is now 81 to one. Pat Harrington, General Secretary of Solidarity union, commented: “How can a ratio of 81 to 1 be just. It’s both unfair and divisive. It’s obvious that the few are insulated from the cost-of-living crisis whilst the many bear the cost. So when the reactionary media attack the RMT and other unions for asking for pay increases I want you to remember that these same people are partying while ordinary folk have to think about what they can put on the table. We stand with our brothers and sisters – Victory to the RMT and all unions fighting for their members!”



The research Includes interesting evidence on presenteeism, and Long Covid and includes a concise guide outlining how HR practitioners can support employees’ physical and mental health as we emerge from the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key findings of the research include;

  • Working when ill (presenteeism) remains prevalent and is even higher for those working from home (81% versus 65% among those in a workplace). However, 52% of HR respondents are taking steps to address this trend and investigate potential causes.
  • Just under half (46%) have employees who have experienced – or are experiencing – long COVID. Long COVID is now a major cause of long-term absence.
  • New or better support is starting to be available for people working from home. Just under three-quarters of organisations (72%) are providing new or better support for people working from home. For example, nearly half (47%) are encouraging more responsible use of digital technologies, acknowledging that regular movement breaks and time away from screens are essential for health and wellbeing.
  • There is less management focus on health and wellbeing compared with the first year of the pandemic. Seven in ten (70%) of HR respondents agree that employee wellbeing is on senior leaders’ agendas (down from 75% last year) and 60% believe that line managers have bought into the importance of wellbeing (down from 67% last year).

Pat Harrington, General Secretary of Solidarity, commented: “This latest research shows just how much work still needs to be done in these vital areas of health and well-being. It’s why our union will continue to campaign in this area”



Tory Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has been shamed into pledging financial support for households suffering in the cost-of-living crisis and U-turning on a windfall tax of energy firms.

The Chancellor was forced to add emergency measures to a £15 billion package aimed at lessening the impact of soaring inflation, including offering millions a £400 discount grant off their energy bills and a £5bn levy on oil and gas giants.

As well as ring-fencing £6bn for the universal payment from October — which does not have to be paid back and replaces his initial plan for a £200 loan — there was targeted support for the poorest, elderly and disabled, Mr. Sunak told MPs.

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay