Category Archives: Wages and Pay-rates

April inflation figures – again, worse than expected

Even by the standards of the past 18 months where all forecasts have been shown to be over-optimistic, the leap in CPI inflation between March and April from 7% up to 9% is a startling one. Here’s the ONS summary … Continue reading

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Labour market enforcement – update

Reading my copy of PIRC’s quarterly Work newsletter, I see that there’s no mention of the budget / timetable for the proposed Single Enforcement Body (SEB) that we are hoping to see from the UK government. There is an ongoing … Continue reading

Posted in Employment Contracts, Employment Law and Rights, Gig economy workers, Low pay, Minimum wage rates, Wages and Pay-rates | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How to calculate inflation between two dates.

Imagine you wanted to work out what an inflation-rate increase between two dates is? Here’s an outline that I’ve drafted with extensive help from Nick Kardahji in the Prospect research team. Say you are preparing a pay claim for some … Continue reading

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How inflation is affecting individual households

Further to the previous post on the cost of living, Bectu reps may wish to circulate this Office for National Statistics (ONS) page on how to calculate your personal cost-of-living changes.

Posted in Economics, Housing costs, Inflation, Low pay, Minimum wage rates, Pay & inflation, Wages and Pay-rates, Welfare and benefits | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Getting the current cost-of-living crisis in perspective

How can we understand the current cost of living crisis in perspective when talking to Bectu members about their wages? One way would be to look at it over a few years. In the past few days, coincidentally, I’ve had … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Freelance working, Inflation, Low pay, Pay & inflation, Wages and Pay-rates, Wealth inequality, Welfare and benefits | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Sunak’s spring statement 2022 – initial details

Firstly, with inflation up again at 6.2% from 5.5%, the growth forecasts are fairly conservative at the moment and “we don’t really know how the situation in Ukraine will affect all of this” runs like a subtext to all of … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Freelance working, Inflation, Low pay, National Insurance Contributions (NICs), Productivity, Tax | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

EntitledTo – understanding benefits entitlements

The EntitledTo website is worth bookmarking. It aims to offer reliable estimates of benefit entitlements for individuals based on the detailed knowledge that they claim to have of the UK’s social security system. The site has some useful benefits calculators … Continue reading

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Inflation – latest

Not a detailed post but a useful snapshot. The latest KPMG forecast for UK inflation has it peaking at more than 10% later this year (due to energy price spikes)… pic.twitter.com/7RvQ49MVi3 — Ben Chu (@BenChu_) March 9, 2022  

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Changes to Statutory Sick Pay and Employment and Support Allowance (CoViD)

On Monday, the Prime Minister announced an end to day-one access to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), effective from the 1st April 2022. After that point, workers suffering from CoViD-related illness will have to wait until their fourth day of illness … Continue reading

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January’s inflation figures

Today’s UK inflation figures show cost-of-living increases that reach the highest rate for over 30 years. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that the consumer prices index (CPI) measure of inflation increased to 5.5% in January from 5.4% a … Continue reading

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Food shopping costs soar

Behind a lot of the headlines on inflation (soaring energy and fuel costs in particular), there’s one other important factor to bear in mind – particularly for people on low incomes. While the CPIH inflation rate puts the impact of … Continue reading

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What do employers need to do to retain talent?

It’s something of a recurring theme from the Pensions & Investment Research Consultants (PIRC), but all of the research (including their own work with Autonomy and Survation – [pdf]) point to a need to pay people better, treat them with … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Employment, Employment Law and Rights, Long hours, Low pay, Management, Mental Health, Productivity, Wellbeing, Work-life balance | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Knowing how much retirement income you need

Bectu is going to keep nagging freelance members to get a pension because freelancers in the UK generally have shockingly underfunded retirements. There are lots of other posts on this site about pensions if you want to read into this. … Continue reading

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The Relph Report (2002) on low budget films

In 2022, our Copyright Committee will be looking at issues relating to ‘residuals’ – giving workers ‘points’ in films that they work on. Just going through the archives, I’ve found The Relph Report from 2002 [pdf] that talked about how … Continue reading

Posted in Copyright & Intellectual Property, Economics, Low budget features, Low pay | Leave a comment

Cost of living price rises – it’s all bad news

There’s lots of bad news around for anyone who isn’t enjoying significant wage rises at the moment. ONS figures are reporting that the consumer prices index (CPI) measure of annual inflation rose to 4.2% in October, up from 3.1% in … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Inflation, Low pay, Minimum wage rates, Pay & inflation, Wages and Pay-rates | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Universal Credit and self-employed earnings

The minimum income floor was reintroduced from August 2021, having been suspended soon after the start of the lockdown in April 2020. Broadly, the Work Allowance and taper rate are the same as for employed people. However, a ‘Minimum Income … Continue reading

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New ‘Living Wage’ published

The Living Wage Foundation has published their new ‘Living Wage’ rates – up from £9.50 to £9.90 across the UK (40p increase), and from £10.85 up to £11.05 in London (20p increase). The Living Wage rates are the only rates … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Housing costs, Inflation, Low pay, Minimum wage rates, Pay & inflation, Wages and Pay-rates | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Calculating freelance income for the purposes of Universal Credit

All of the basic info about this is fairly easy to find on the .gov website – this is a good place to start. The key thing to remember is that, when you are self-employed, the government tends to think … Continue reading

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Surprising-yet-unsurprising news about people thinking of leaving their jobs

The most surprising-yet-unsurprising nugget here is that “…the majority of those considering quitting had been offered no incentives to stay by their employers.” 📰📰NEW STUDY: How to Solve the Labour Market Crisis by Raising Standards Labour shortages are a principal … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Employment, Inflation, Long hours, Low pay, Mental Health, Pay & inflation, The working environment, Wellbeing, Work-life balance | Tagged , | Leave a comment

National Living Wage will rise to £9.50 an hour

The 59p increase for workers over 23 – up 6.6% from £8.91 reflects the inflationary pressure outlined here a few weeks ago. The new rates will rise from 1 April 2022 as follows: National Living Wage for over-23s: From £8.91 … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Inflation, Low pay, Minimum wage rates, National Insurance Contributions (NICs), Pay & inflation, Tax, Trades Unions, Wages and Pay-rates, Wealth inequality | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

There’s a lot of job-switching going on

Following on from two posts here this morning about inflation/pay, and the tight labour market, here’s a third on the trinity of issues that are creating a fair wind for union-type demands at the moment. Sarah O’Connor in the FT … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Employment, Low pay, Pay & inflation, Productivity, Wages and Pay-rates | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Why unions matter – the economic argument

Here’s a web page that I return to fairly regularly when thinking about wage growth (or lack thereof). Firstly, there this:   And then there’s this: See the link?  

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Class based exclusion in the creative sector

In a huge wake-up call for the creative sector, the (NESTA) Creative Industries Policy and Research Centre have published a damning report on class-based exclusion. The UK’s #CreativeIndustries would need to employ 250,000 more working-class people to be as socio … Continue reading

Posted in Equality, Low pay, Minimum wage rates, Skills & capacity, Wages and Pay-rates, Wealth inequality, Welfare and benefits | Tagged | Leave a comment

MPs call for Pension ‘sidecar’ to help workers with no/low cash reserves

This is not news (it’s dated April 2021), but something that Prospect’s pensions specialist Stewart Mott has pointed me at. Broadly, it’s a proposal for a new ‘sidecar’ savings mechanism within pension auto-enrolment to encourage employees to build up emergency … Continue reading

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Employers minimum-wage shame list and how it affects freelancers

From an HMG press release earlier today: Today (Thursday 5 August) 191 businesses are being named for breaking the national minimum wage law. Following investigations by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, a total of £2.1 million was found to be … Continue reading

Posted in Employment Law and Rights, Freelancer rights, Low pay, Minimum wage rates, Pay & inflation, Wages and Pay-rates | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Lower pay in the performing arts

One of the biggest factors adversely affecting diversity in the cultural sector is low pay at the entry level – effectively excluding entrants on lower incomes. 🎭Those in the performing and creative arts face the lowest salaries after graduating. 📉They … Continue reading

Posted in Diversity of representation, Economics, Employment, Low pay, Race equality, Wages and Pay-rates, Wealth inequality | Tagged | Leave a comment

Labour proposes the creation of a single ‘worker’ status

New #ukemplaw bulletin – Labour announces policy to create a single status of ‘worker’ – https://t.co/naWdwwJ1AE — Daniel Barnett (@daniel_barnett) July 26, 2021 Keir Starmer outlines this on LabourList – here. The party has been briefing that the aim here … Continue reading

Posted in Employment Law and Rights, Employment status, Family rights, Freelancer rights, Labour Party, Minimum wage rates | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Ofcom on industry’s diversity obligations

The broadcasters have an “existential” obligation to improve social class and geographical representation, according to Ofcom’s @dawes_melanie https://t.co/YVhtUXKi7K pic.twitter.com/M7egqNZJ84 — Broadcast (@Broadcastnow) July 19, 2021  

Posted in Diversity of representation, Equality, Film & TV industry policy, Low pay, Regulation, Wealth inequality | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Workers reject the idea of a four-day week on lower pay

A new report from The Social Market Foundation (SMF) entitled A question of time [PDF] explores the question of the four day week. The key findings (from the exec summary) are that… Most workers – 80% – would not favour … Continue reading

Posted in Bectu Agreements, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Long hours, Major Motion Picture Agreement, Management, Pay & inflation, Productivity, TV Drama Agreement, Wages and Pay-rates, Workplace conflict | Tagged , | Leave a comment

TUC insecure work report

The TUC have published a special edition of their Jobs and Recovery monitor,and this time it’s focussed on Insecure Work [PDF]. From the exec summary… The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the reality of insecure work in the UK. Care workers, … Continue reading

Posted in Employment, Employment Contracts, Employment Law and Rights, Employment status, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Gig economy workers, Low pay, Welfare and benefits | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

What the Wilson era can teach us.

Welcome to an era when a stronger welfare state was seen as a pre-condition for economic dynamism. When a robust social infrastructure helped workers take risk. New piece by me on why Harold Wilson’s forgotten agenda is relevant to the … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Employment, Labour Party, Low pay, Management, Politics, Productivity, Welfare and benefits | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Pandemic impact on women’s employment

We expected women to be hardest hit jobs wise by this crisis – but we were wrong… new deep dive into the gender impact of covid out today https://t.co/NDcTQX1Kqs pic.twitter.com/hEsWzNXefz — Torsten Bell (@TorstenBell) June 14, 2021

Posted in Equality, Gender representation, Gig economy workers, Low pay | Tagged | Leave a comment

Upward pressures on low-pay casual wages

This, from the US. It will be interesting to see how the same thing plays out in the UK, with the added spice of Brexit and migration. In the US, one in four workers thinking of leaving their jobs, according … Continue reading

Posted in Coronavirus, EU & Brexit, Gig economy workers, Low pay, Minimum wage rates, Pay & inflation, Wages and Pay-rates | Leave a comment

Immigration and wages

In a 2017 post, Chris gives a very good tour of economic orthodoxy’s view on the question “does immigration depress wages?” (TLDR: Chris says no)

Posted in Economics, Employment, EU & Brexit, Low pay, Migration & working abroad, Wages and Pay-rates | Tagged | Leave a comment

Inequalities rise – ONS

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that, to the financial year ending 2020, after taxes and benefits income, household income has continued on a general trend for rising income inequality in recent years.

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