Fri 25 Jun 2021

Creation of single enforcement body for employment rights confirmed

The new body will be a one stop shop providing support for both employees and employers

The UK Government response to the Good Work Plan consultation on establishing a new single body for employment rights has confirmed that such a body will be created.  The consultation was one of a number that flowed from the Good Work Plan, which, in turn, had followed on from recommendations set out in the Taylor Report.  It had been recognised that the fragmented nature of the existing enforcement of employment rights created difficulties, limiting the visibility of the work the various bodies did, made it difficult for employers and workers to know where to go for help and made it harder to have a clear and comprehensive intelligence picture of the scale and nature of non-compliance across the labour market.

The new body will bring together three existing bodies - the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate and HMRC's National Minimum Wage Enforcement team - into one single, easily recognisable, body. It will also have a significantly expanded remit.  The aim is to improve enforcement of employment rights and ensure both employees and employers know where to go for help. In addition, it is intended that the pooling of intelligence will result in more effective identification of non-compliance.

Employers are to be provided with support to comply with the law, with the new body building on the compliance activities of the existing bodies and providing detailed technical guidance and introducing a compliance notice system for lower harm breaches.  Civil penalties will be introduced for breaches under the gangmasters licensing and employment agency standards regime that result in wage arrears.  The body will also have powers to enforce statutory sick pay and holiday pay for vulnerable workers without the need to go through employment tribunals as well as tackling transparency in supply chains/modern slavery reporting.  It will also take over responsibility for enforcing the national minimum and living wage from HMRC.

The Government response confirms the new enforcement body will be established via primary legislation "when parliamentary time allows".

Make an Enquiry

From our offices we serve the whole of Scotland, as well as clients around the world with interests in Scotland. Please complete the form below, and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.

Morton Fraser MacRoberts LLP will use the information you provide to contact you about your inquiry. The information is confidential. For more information on our privacy practices please see our Privacy Notice