EMPLOYERS MISUSING DATA RULES TO STIFLE WORKERS’ RIGHTS

Some employers are attempting to manipulate the recently introduced GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) to try to pursue exploitative and discriminatory employment practices and to deny trade unions their right to represent their members, the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union has told TUC Congress.

The Union has told Congress in Manchester that some employers are misusing GDPR to seek to deny trade unions access to legitimate information on issues such as redundancy and equal pay.

The NASUWT has called on the TUC to press the Information Commissioner to issue statutory guidance to employers stating that trade unions have a legitimate right to be provided with information necessary to represent and support their members. 

Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary, moving the motion, said:

“Unfortunately, it is all too common for unscrupulous employers to seek to take a legislative provision designed to protect individuals and distort it to deny workers their rights.

“More and more examples are emerging of employers in the education sector seeking to withhold workforce data, designed to identify discriminatory practices and inequality, thereby preventing trade unions representing their members’ interests.

“Job loss, which causes appalling stress and distress, made worse by employers seeking to withhold vital workforce information needed for unions to seek to protect workers’ rights.

“These actions are nothing to do with protecting people’s personal data and everything to do with employers trying to pursue exploitative working practices and prevent trade unions fighting for decent pay and working conditions for members.

“We are calling on the TUC to press the Information Commissioner to act and to prevent the manipulation of this important legislation to disadvantage working people.”

NASUWT COMMENTS ON PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE REPORT INTO OFSTED

Responding to the Public Accounts Committee’s report on Ofsted, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT – The Teachers Union said:

 “The NASUWT has always been clear that inspection has a critical role to play in a genuinely meaningful system of school accountability.

 “Schools should be subject to inspection, but they should always be inspected on the right things in the right ways.

 “To ensure that this fundamental test is met, it is critical that the inspectorate is given the resources and staff it needs to fulfil its functions effectively. However, the Government’s policy in this area over the past decade has been entirely wrong, based on slashing Ofsted’s budget without any reference whatsoever to the wide range of important responsibilities that it has to discharge.

 “The inspection framework is due to be revised in the autumn of 2019. This presents a valuable opportunity to consider the fundamental objectives of inspection and adopt a new conception of inspection and accountability which recognises the full breadth of a school’s contribution to the lives of its pupils and which genuinely supports schools to continue to improve and succeed.

 “However, for this process of revision to be meaningful, the Government must also give a commitment that it will make sufficient resources available to Ofsted so that its activities in future can be guided by the principles of effective inspection rather than by the limits of an inadequate budget. As the PAC has made clear in its report, this is vital to ensuring the inspectorate can retain the confidence of parents, the school workforce and the wider public.”