New body to offer protection to millions of vulnerable workers

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Single Labour Market Enforcement Body

The government has called a consultation on a single labour market enforcement body which will have the power to make sure minimum wage and holiday payments are offered to employees, as well as possibly tackling the problems of workplace discrimination, harassment and bullying in the office.

This news was released by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

This adds to the government’s plans to strengthen the Good Work Plan “the largest upgrade to workers’ rights in a generation.” Millions of low-paid workers could see their employee rights increase and strengthen thanks to this body.

The Good Work Plan was announced in December 2018 and formed the government’s response to Matthew Taylor’s independent Taylor Review of modern working practices (2017). Mr Taylor will become the interim director of the Labour Market Enforcement on August 1st. As Sir David Metcalf retired from the position in June 2019.

Greg Clarke, business secretary said:

We have a labour market that we can be proud of with more people in work than ever before. But it’s right that hard-working people see their rights upgraded and are protected from exploitative practices, whilst ensuring we create a level playing field for the vast majority of businesses who comply with employment laws.

A new Single Labour Market Enforcement body will bring together our different enforcement partners putting all our expertise in one dedicated place, better protecting workers and enforcing their rights now and into the future.  Matthew Taylor’s appointment as Director of Labour Market Enforcement, the architect of our Good Work Plan, demonstrates our commitment to the largest upgrade in workers’ rights in a generation and preparing our labour market for the economy of the future.

Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, said:

Stronger understanding and enforcement of employment rights is essential for creating fairer, more inclusive workplaces. The creation of a single enforcement body is an important step towards achieving better working lives for the UK’s most vulnerable workers. We welcome the Government’s proposals and the recognition that tougher enforcement needs to go hand in hand with better support for businesses, many of which can fall foul of employment legislation unwittingly.

The consultation will close on October 6th 2019 and will consider if it can also enforce the rules surrounding discrimination, bullying and harassment.

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