New Worker’s Watchdog
Yesterday saw another big news day for UK labour law with the announcement of a new worker’s watchdog set to be created in the UK. This watchdog is designed to protect worker’s rights, with responsibility for tackling modern slavery, enforcing minimum wage and ensuring protection for agency workers. As a business that has compliance at its core, we welcome the establishment of this watchdog.
What responsibility will the watchdog have?
The UK government has amalgamated the responsibilities of three agencies (Gangmasters and Labour abuse authorities, the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate and the National Minimum wage enforcement) under the remit of this new watchdog. The alignment of these three agencies under one roof is likely to reduce the vulnerability of workers. The new watchdog also has the ability to enforce holiday pay and ensure that UK workers get sick pay without the need for a lengthy employment tribunal process. At CXC, we welcome the increased protection that this will provide workers, especially those with low choice or no choice in their employment.
The UK government has said this change would give businesses breaking these labour laws “nowhere to hide”. Companies that fail to pay workers what they are owed and rogue employers can be hit with fines of up to £20,000 per worker. We feel that this is a significant step toward improving the conditions for workers across the UK while also ensuring a level playfield for compliant organisations.