Millions of low paid workers could receive more workplace protections under new proposals announced by Business Secretary Greg Clark.
The measures, which aim to advance the Good Work Plan, include creating a Single Labour Market Enforcement Body, which will have the powers to enforce minimum wage and holiday payments.
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.
Clark said hard-working people should be protected from exploitative practices.
“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,” he added.
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,” he stated.
Under the proposals, the Single Labour Market Enforcement body would have 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.