News

Single enforcement body for worker rights proposed in consultation

By on

A consultation entering its last weeks asks whether a new Single Enforcement Body for employment rights should be created to protect vulnerable workers.


The new body would tackle labour exploitation and modern slavery, workplace discrimination and, to some extent, health and safety.

It would bring together the Gangmasters Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate and HMRC’s National Minimum Wage Team. Currently, these bodies are meant to work closely under one strategy but the system is ‘fragmented’ and not as effective as it could be, say the plans.

The GLAA supported the proposal, saying it would provide a “strong, recognisable brand for individuals to know to seek help from and go to”.

Margaret Beels, GLAA’s chair, said: “Our priority at the GLAA is the protection of vulnerable workers from exploitation and we welcome moves to make it easier for victims to access help and support.”

But the consultation also hints at bigger changes. It gives examples of other countries the UK could follow, such as Canada where the Ministry of Labour has responsibility for enforcing a broad swathe of employment rights.

It also asks whether the new body should police the ‘gaps’ in enforcement, including holiday entitlement and pay, an area which comes under HSE’s remit as part of the Working Time Regulations 1998, but is not currently enforced by it.

It could also have a role in enforcing discrimination and harassment in the workplace, currently owned by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

There are 35 questions in the consultation. It forms part of the government’s good work plans, which have recently focused on new rights and protections. “We recognise that having the right legal framework alone is not enough,” it says. “Workers need to be able to enforce their rights effectively.”

Establishing a new Single Enforcement Body for employment rights closes 6 October: https://bit.ly/2lGTpPH

One single body would tackle modern slavery, workplace discrimination and to some extent, health and safety. Photograph: iStock

 

NEWS


Menopause_iStock_fizkes_SMLL.jpg

Labour announces ‘bold’ menopause at work policy

By Belinda Liversedge on 24 September 2019

Menopausal women should be treated by firms as if they have a long-term fluctuating health condition, which needs the appropriate support from workplaces, Labour has announced.



Which way SMLL iStock-narvikk.jpg

New Brexit proposals "risk race to bottom” on workers' rights

By Belinda Liversedge on 17 October 2019

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has secured a deal with the EU, but his opponents said there was little in it to give us any confidence workers’ rights will be safeguarded after Brexit.



brexit-illustration-istock-542594222_oschettophotography.jpg

IPPR reveals the workers’ rights most at risk from a no-deal Brexit

By Belinda Liversedge on 17 October 2019

A report by a leading think tank has warned No Deal Brexit would give government “considerable scope” to deregulate and weaken rights subtly over time, even if on day one protections would remain in place.