New protections for millions of vulnerable workers

The government has today announced its latest measures to advance the 'Good work plan', the largest upgrade to workers’ rights in a generation

• workers to be given enhanced rights to tackle unscrupulous employers who do not comply with the law
• new body would enforce holiday pay for vulnerable workers and ensure agency workers are not underpaid
• second phase of the government’s ‘Good work plan’ focuses on protecting vulnerable workers

Millions of low paid workers in the UK could receive more workplace protections in a move announced by the Business Secretary Greg Clark today (Tuesday 16 July 2019).

The government has announced its latest measures to advance the ‘Good work plan’, the largest upgrade to workers’ rights in a generation. These include:

• proposals to create a single labour market enforcement body, which will have the powers to enforce minimum wage and holiday payments

• the Business Secretary also confirmed that Matthew Taylor, the architect of the independent Taylor Review of modern working practices and an expert in modern business practices, has been appointed as the interim Director of Labour Market Enforcement

Business Secretary Greg Clark said:

"We have a labour market that we can be proud of with more people in work than ever before. But it’s right that hard-working people see their rights upgraded and are protected from exploitative practices, whilst ensuring we create a level playing field for the vast majority of businesses who comply with employment laws.

"A new single labour market enforcement body will bring together our different enforcement partners putting all our expertise in one dedicated place, better protecting workers and enforcing their rights now and into the future. Matthew Taylor’s appointment as Director of Labour Market Enforcement, the architect of our ‘Good work plan’, demonstrates our commitment to the largest upgrade in workers’ rights in a generation and preparing our labour market for the economy of the future."

Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, said:

"Stronger understanding and enforcement of employment rights is essential for creating fairer, more inclusive workplaces. The creation of a single enforcement body is an important step towards achieving better working lives for the UK’s most vulnerable workers. We welcome the government’s proposals and the recognition that tougher enforcement needs to go hand in hand with better support for businesses, many of which can fall foul of employment legislation unwittingly."

The government today launched a consultation on proposals for a new single labour market enforcement body. A new single body would create a strong, recognisable single brand and would make it easier for individuals to know where to go for help. It will also be better able to support businesses to help them comply with the law.

Take part in the consultation.

The proposals include the body having consistent powers to enforce payment of the minimum wage, labour exploitation and modern slavery, along with holiday payments for vulnerable workers and safeguarding agency workers. The consultation considers whether the body should also enforce workplace discrimination, harassment and bullying.