New workers’ watchdog

The UK government has announced it will create a new watchdog to protect the rights of workers and clamp down on workplace abuse across all industries.  This comes as part of the government’s wider efforts to protect workers’ rights.

Responsibility for tackling modern slavery, enforcing the minimum wage and protecting agency workers that are currently spread across three different bodies, Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate and HMRC’s National Minimum Wage Enforcement, will be brought under one roof to create a single enforcement body

The body aims to provide one place where workers can explore their rights, give them the ability to whistle-blow bad behaviour as well as providing guidance to businesses on their obligations to staff.

As well as enforcing all existing powers belonging to the three agencies, the new body will have a new ability to ensure vulnerable workers get the holiday pay and statutory sick pay they are entitled to – without having to go through a lengthy employment tribunal process.

This is a one-stop shop for employees and businesses wanting to understand their rights and obligations.

The UK government has said this change would give businesses breaking these labour laws “nowhere to hide”.

The new enforcement body will be established through primary legislation ‘when parliamentary time allows’. However, no date has been set for its implementation.

For now, we advise employers to be proactive and take steps to audit, document, and if appropriate remedy their current practices.

For further information on how to review your current practices, please contact a member of our team.

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