Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Institute of Employment Rights Conference Feb 6th: The Quality of Working Life

From: Phelim Mac Cafferty <>

Subject: Reminder: IER Health and Safety Conference

Institute of Employment Rights-The Quality of Working Life: Promoting a Healthy Agenda conferenceWednesday 6th February 2008
at the UCU Conference Centre,Britannia Street, London WC1

About the conference

In August 2007, following an explosion which killed nine people, ICL Plastics were fined a mere £400,000 for health and safety breaches. Such a penalty graphically demonstrates how negligent companies can cut costs at the expense of workers' lives without fear ofadequate financial and other legal consequences.Statistics for 2006/07 show fatalities in the workplace up by 11 per cent on the previous year, a five year high.

Prominent among the worst sectors are construction and agriculture. Meanwhile, fewer than one in five major accidents are now investigated, and the numbers of prosecutions taken and enforcement notices issued have continued to fall dramatically.

The Health and Safety Executive's increasing emphasis on less enforcement and more voluntary approaches has been dictated by a lack of funding. Worse is likely to come. The HSE faces a 15 per cent budget cut by 2011 to meet Treasury efficiency targets.So is it time to reconsider our approach to delivering health and safety at work? Does the modern day fragmented labour market demand a new framework of law? Do the often unrepresented and increasingly undocumented workers, need a clearer framework ofregulation within which to work? Would the development of a Quality of Working Life Bill clarify and streamline the duty of care still expected of our employers?

The Institute is keen to develop these ideas and this conference can kick-start the debate. Nor should the discussion be confined to strictly health and safety issues. A quality of working life focus could include work/life balance, flexibility, hours and holidays, benefits, insurance industry, rehabilitation, discrimination, job-security, intensification of work, supply chains and more.With all these issues to discuss it's crucial that trade unionists share information and discuss the way forward for health and safety.

Phil James, will lead contributions from academics, trade unionists and legal practitioners and provide a critical examination of key areas of current policy development. The aim of the conference will be to identify what more needs to be done to protect the health, safety and well-being of workers as they go about the task of earning a living.

9.30 Registration
9.50 Welcome from Chair, Carolyn Jones
10.00 Trends in work-related harm and how to improve them Professor Phil James, Oxford Brookes University
10.25 Are Stress Management Standards enough? The case for a Quality ofWorking Life ActSimon Pickvance, Sheffield Occupational Health Advisory Service
10.50 Worker representation: what works and what should be done?Professor David Walters, Cardiff University
11.15 Tea and coffee
11.30 Corporate Manslaughter and Director Duties David Bergman, Centre for Corporate Accountability
11.55 Collective Bargaining and Health and Safety: Case Studies from the Shop Floor, Susan Murray, UNITE:T&G
12.15 Questions
12.30 Lunch
1.30 Health and Safety under Brown, John McDonnell MP
1.55 The new European health and safety action programme and surrounding deregulatory pressures, Dave Feikert
2.20 Promoting an Agenda for Better Jobs Debbie Hutchings, UNITE: Amicus
2.40 HSE: a review of current policy, funding and future prospects Steve Kay, Prospect
3.0 Tea and coffee
3.15 Corporate Manslaughter - an update Professor Steve Tombs, Liverpool John Moores University
3.40 Hilda Palmer/Rory O'Neil - Hazards
4.00 Questions and discussion
4.30 Close

Who should attend
The conference will be of great interest to trade unionists, employment lawyers, academics and students. It will be of particular interest to Health and Safety Officers.

How to book

To reserve your place, complete the form below and send your cheque, made payable to IER, to Institute of Employment Rights, The People's Centre, 50-54 Mount Pleasant, Liverpool L3 5SD. Fax 0151 702 6935.

CPD, NPP and EPP accreditation

This conference counts for 5 credit hours under the Law Society's Continuing Development Scheme and the General Council of the Bar's New Practitioners' Programme and Established Practitioners' Programme.

Additional Information
Details of nearby hotels are available from the office. Name changes are accepted up until the time of the event. Delegates who advise IER of their cancellation more than 15 working days in advance will receive a credit note with 10% deduction for administration.

How to get there

Nearest stations are: Kings Cross and St Pancras (tube and British Rail)

IER subscribers and members £75.00
Trade unions £90.00
Commercial £220.00
The cost of the conference does not include lunch.

Booking form apply to

Phelim Mac Cafferty Projects and Events Officer Institute of Employment Rights179 Preston Road Brighton East Sussex BN1 6AGt: 01273 330819e:
Log onto the new website where you can book seats at our upcoming seminars and conferences

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