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Len Shackleton
3 April 2014
1 comment

While welcoming George Osborne’s emphasis this week on raising employment, I have some caveats about his target – to have the highest employment rate in the G7. This isn’t hugely...
Len Shackleton
12 March 2014
1 comment

I’ve had more than my quota of quotas. Economists have long been critical of these devices, which arise in many different contexts. Import quotas are a non-tariff barrier to trade: countries,...
Len Shackleton
16 January 2014
4 comments

It is widely rumoured that the government is moving towards a commitment to increase the national minimum wage (NMW) well above levels suggested by the – usually fairly sensible – Low...
Len Shackleton
14 January 2014
1 comment

The UK’s labour market has performed much better since 2008 than many expected. It is clear that, compared with the high degree of regulation in continental Europe, our relatively more flexible...
Len Shackleton
2 December 2013
4 comments

The issue of tax avoidance cannot be divorced from the nature of the tax system, and that in turn cannot sensibly be discussed without thinking about what governments spend. We have a hugely...
Len Shackleton
5 November 2013
1 comment

It’s Living Wage week, and many are endorsing the principle of raising low pay, whether by boosting the minimum wage, or by forcing local authorities and pressuring other private employers to...
Len Shackleton
30 October 2013
2 comments

The media and the twitterati have had their weekly fix of synthetic anger over the award of compensation to Sharon Shoesmith, the former Head of Haringey Children's Services, for unfair dismissal...
Len Shackleton
8 October 2013
comments

Last week, an employment tribunal in Bedford judged Tesco to have indirectly discriminated against two Muslim employees by restricting access to an on-site prayer room at one of its distribution...
Len Shackleton
3 October 2013
5 comments

I started studying economics fifty years ago last month, unbelievably (OK, I was a precocious child). Over the decades I have had many doubts about my chosen discipline. Were its prescriptions too...
Len Shackleton
22 September 2013
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The Labour Party is planning to introduce a requirement that employers bringing in a non-EU skilled worker under the ‘Tier 2’ immigration conditions will in future have to create a high-...
Len Shackleton
17 September 2013
2 comments

Last week Margaret Hodges’ Public Accounts Committee, increasingly resembling some sort of neo-Jacobin Committee of Public Humiliation, gave BBC managers a torrid time over their role in...
Len Shackleton
6 August 2013
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One million people on zero hours contracts, scream the media - quoting figures released today by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. This is at odds with recent ONS figures...
Len Shackleton
2 August 2013
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I wonder what those famously cynical private eyes Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe would have made of the new regulations which Theresa May is imposing on their British equivalents? It was announced this...
Len Shackleton
27 July 2013
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Matthew Hancock, the Skills minister, has been doing the media rounds asserting that British firms have ‘a duty’ to take on British workers rather than immigrants. This is rather...
Len Shackleton
18 June 2013
2 comments

Zero-hours contracts are in the news again, with Vince Cable last week announcing an enquiry into this type of arrangement. These contracts involve people agreeing to be available for work as and...
Len Shackleton
7 June 2013
1 comment

It is depressing to see education minister Liz Truss’s proposals to relax childcare ratios – which would have allowed nursery staff look after more children – vetoed by Nick Clegg...
Len Shackleton
4 June 2013
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It is reported this week that the Metropolitan Police is reviving a proposal, last aired (and rejected by the Labour government) in 2007, to allow the introduction of ethnic quotas in recruitment...
Len Shackleton
10 May 2013
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  It may sound incredible given the current political debate, but the UK government now spends more as a percentage of GDP on childcare than all European countries except Denmark. Yet the...
Len Shackleton
19 April 2013
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  It was interesting to read in The Times this week that many American companies which offer health insurance are fining employees who do not maintain their weight below a certain...
Len Shackleton
26 March 2013
1 comment

The announcement that households with income up to £300,000 will be entitled to financial assistance with childcare under the government’s plans has raised a few eyebrows. But this...