Good work plan: establishing a new single enforcement body for employment rights
17 July 2019
As part of the Good Work Plan, the Government has published a consultation which seeks views on whether establishing a new single enforcement body for employment rights could improve enforcement for vulnerable workers and create a level playing field for the majority of businesses who are complying with the law.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), who are responsible for policy on statutory sick pay, are considering reforms (consultation recently published), including options to strengthen enforcement. One of the questions posed in the consultation on establishing a new single enforcement body is whether this new single enforcement body would be better placed to take on enforcement of statutory sick pay if its process is strengthened.
The consultation also asks whether this same new body should have a role in relation to discrimination and harassment in the workplace and also what role should it play in the enforcement of employment tribunal awards.
Through this consultation, the government want to consider the case for a new single labour market enforcement body and whether this could deliver:
- Extended state enforcement, delivering the commitments to enforce holiday pay for vulnerable workers and regulate umbrella companies operating in the agency worker market
- A strong, recognisable single brand so individuals know where to go for help. In a single organisation, the user journey could be improved, making it easier for individuals to raise a complaint and to tackle cases that might currently be handled by different organisations
- Better support for businesses to comply with the rules, including coordinated guidance and communications campaigns, and a more easily navigable and proportionate approach to enforcement;
- Coordinated enforcement action, with new powers and sanctions to tackle the spectrum of non-compliance, from minor breaches to forced labour and increased focus on high harm cases to disrupt serious, repeated offending
- Pooled intelligence and more flexible resourcing enabling greater sharing of intelligence and national tasking and coordination of operational activity targeted at tackling serious breaches
- Closer working with other enforcement partners, including immigration enforcement, benefit fraud, health and safety, the Pensions Regulator and wider local authority enforcement
The consultation states that this would not be an exercise to reduce costs – a resource for enforcement would be maintained, but used more effectively. Funding for new areas, such as the enforcement of holiday pay for vulnerable workers will be considered through the spending review.
The consultation ‘Good work plan: establishing a new single enforcement body for employment rights’ closes on 6 October 2019.
During the course of the consultation period, the CIPP policy team will be surveying members and the wider payroll profession for their views and plan to also hold a think tank roundtable meeting to discuss the implications of the Government’s proposals. The think tank will be open to full, fellow and chartered members – to note your expression of interest, please email us at policy.