Government Reforms (2):  Good Work Plan – Single Enforcement Body – Consultation

employment status

What do we already know?

The Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices, made detailed recommendations for reform of UK employment law.  For further detail on the background of this Review please see our updates here.

The Government’s response to the Taylor Review was the ‘Good Work’ plan in which it sets out its plans on taking forward the Taylor Review proposals.  For further detail on this response please see our February 2018 Newsletter Government reforms (2): Employment status – Government response to the Taylor review.

What’s new?

The Government has published a further consultation as part of its Good Work Plan to consider the case for a new single labour market enforcement body, available here.

The reason for the consultation and the potential new enforcement body arises out of the Government’s recognition that “effective enforcement plays a vital role in giving individuals the confidence to challenge employers where they are denied their rights and it creates a level playing field between businesses”. The proposed focus would be on protecting the most vulnerable workers’ employment rights.

The Government considers that a single enforcement body could deliver extended state enforcement, a strong recognisable single brand, better support for businesses, pooled intelligence, co-ordinated enforcement action, more effective use of resources and closer working with other enforcement partners.

The proposal is that a new single labour market enforcement body would deal with the National Minimum Wage (currently enforced by HMRC); employment agency regulations (currently enforced by the Employment Agency Standard Inspectorate); umbrella companies; licences to supply temporary labour in high risk sectors e.g. agriculture and the fresh food chain (currently enforced by the Gangmasters Labour Abuse Authority); labour and worker exploitation; and holiday pay for vulnerable workers. The Government is also interested to hear views on whether the new body should play any role in the enforcement of Employment Tribunal awards.

The consultation closing date is 6 October 2019.