Coronavirus: Your rights at home and at work

Information for workers and tenants to deal with the Covid-19 crisis

News

The latest news and analysis from SF locals

'We taught them a lesson' - a tenant who successfully fought a deposit deduction tells her story

Below is the write-up of a successful campaign organised by a tenant and Brighton SolFed against a deduction to that tenant's deposit. The three month public campaign concluded in April 2018 with a £450 payment to the tenant, who had had £390 deducted from her deposit. Please note that the article contains brief discussion of post traumatic stress disorder.

Brighton hospitality worker gets paid after a single picket

A Brighton hospitality worker supported by SolFed has won a victory against the exploitative conditions prevalent in the local hospitality sector, as a restaurant paid £1,200 in response to pay demands made by the worker.

The public campaign in support of the worker ended after a single picket - and some back-and-forth emailing - with the worker receiving all the money she had asked for.

The worker's demand of £1200 was in relation to outstanding pay. Unusually, the worker had been told she would be paid a set weekly amount, depending on whether she worked 5 or 6 days. Her contract stipulated that she was employed and paid for 32 hours a week. However, since work days usually lasted around 11 hours, in reality she worked close to double what she had been contracted for.

National Minimum and Living Wage Increases April 2018

The new rates for the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage from April 2018 are set out below:

  • £7.83 per hour for ages 25 and over
  • £7.38 per hour for ages 21 to 24
  • £5.90 per hour for ages 18 to 20
  • £4.20 per hour for those under 18
  • £3.70 per hour for apprentices.

For your boss to pay the apprenticeship rate there must be a genuine apprenticeship agreement in place. This agreement must be based on training being the main purpose of the agreement, with working being secondary.

The apprenticeship rate only applies to apprentices aged:

Brighton Solidarity Federation concludes its campaign against G4Lets

Brighton Solidarity Federation has concluded its campaign against the student lettings agency G4Lets. The campaign was in support of two groups of tenants who had just over £3000 deducted from their deposits. One group of tenants had £2000 taken from their deposit for fire safety, redecoration, and pest control, in spite of an Environmental Health Report from the council informing G4Lets that these issues were their responsibility to resolve as part of landlords' general obligations to the properties they let out.

A hunger for unionisation: what's happening in the games industry?

The Game Developers Conference in San Francisco (more commonly known as GDC) is one of the highlights of the game industry calendar. An annual event drawing game developers of all stripes from around the globe, it is seen as one of the premier places for developers to network, companies to show off new tech, CEOs to mingle and business deals to be made. Yet the big discussion animating conference goers at this year's GDC was something very different. Namely the unionisation of the games industry.

Women who clean at home or at work face the same risk as smoking 20 cigarettes a day

New research has again highlighted the dangers posed to health from the use of chemicals used in cleaning. Disturbingly, the research has found that the use of cleaning products has an impact on lung health comparable with smoking a pack of cigarettes every day. This latest evidence adds to the urgent need for a fundamental review of how, as a society, we carry out cleaning, not just in the workplace but also in the home. The research has also again highlighted the dangers faced by women in particular from the use of chemicals used in cleaning.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

It's snowing. Snow is fun, and lots of us will have a rare day off today to go sledging, have a snowball fight, watch daytime TV and generally do anything we like other than going to work.
However, some of us will have to go to work despite the weather. This is some potentially life-saving advice for anyone who finds themselves layering up and trudging in regardless.

1) Do not drive anywhere under any circumstances. Avon and Somerset Police have advised not to use any roads in the region. People have had serious incidents on the Bristol roads over the last 24 hours. Don't risk life and limb for a boss who would replace you in a few weeks if anything happened. There aren't any buses running currently either, so if you can't safely walk to work, don't go in.

Guides for getting organised

The Stuff Your Boss doesn't want you to know Knowing about the main workplace rights is the first step to getting organised. Find out about your righs at work from here.
The Stuff Your Sexist Boss doesn't want you to know Sexism is present in most workplaces - find out how we can organise to fight back against it!
SF workplace training The Solidarity Federation workplace organiser training programme is designed to give workers the tools and confidence to organise in their workplaces. You may find the direct action based approach we adopt offers a fresh perspective.

Donations

If you would like to support us, you can donate to the Solidarity Federation. You can use your your debit/credit card, or a PayPal account if you have one. Donations will be used to support our work, including our free newspaper Catalyst and our workplace organiser training programme.