Download the full outcome
Detail of outcome
The consultation responses show there is a real opportunity to deliver more effective enforcement of employment rights for vulnerable workers. The government will proceed with plans to bring together the existing labour market enforcement bodies, in line with the manifesto commitment.
This new single body will support employers to comply with the law, building on the compliance activity of the existing bodies, and by providing detailed technical guidance as well as introducing a compliance notice system for lower harm breaches. It must also be more effective at identifying non-compliance. We will look to achieve this through better data use and analysis, as well as tackling the barriers that can prevent workers, third parties and employers from coming forward with information.
The body will have new powers to tackle non-compliance, with the introduction of civil penalties for underpayment for the breaches under the gangmasters licensing and employment agency standards regimes that result in wage arrears. It will also have powers to enforce statutory sick pay, holiday pay and transparency in supply chains / modern slavery statement reporting.
Creating this new body will be subject to the usual government approval process. Primary legislation will also be required. Whilst this document sets out high level proposals, we are developing more detailed plans for the body in partnership with the existing enforcement bodies.
Detail of feedback received
We received 111 responses to this consultation from individual workers, employers, academics, trade associations, trade unions, charities or social enterprises, public bodies, and legal representatives.
The majority of respondents were supportive of the creation of a single enforcement body and believed that it would be more effective than the current system. However this was conditional on it being well funded, and on further detail around the set-up of the body, with the transition to the new body seen as a particular risk.
Some respondents opposed the proposals. Those who opposed the reform questioned whether improvements could be made to the current system without the upheaval of creating a new body and stated that more time was needed to assess the progress made by the creation of the position of Director of Labour Market Enforcement.
This consultation seeks views on whether establishing a new single enforcement body for employment rights could:
- improve enforcement for vulnerable workers
- create a level playing field for the majority of businesses who are complying with the law