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On 13 October 2015, BIS and the Home Office jointly published a consultation on improving the enforcement of employment rights and tackling the exploitation of workers in the labour market.
This is in response to an increases in non-compliance and exploitation within the labour market, in particular where migrant unskilled workers are involved.
The consultation sets out four key proposals which are aimed at strengthening the current enforcement regime and bringing about tougher sanctions for employers who do not comply with employment legislation. The four proposals are:
the creation of a statutory Director of Labour Market Enformcement
a new offence of aggravated breach of labour market legislation
an increase in the intelligence and data-sharing between enforcement bodies
reforming the Gangmasters Licensing Authority to increase its remit
The Consultation closes on 9 November 2015. We will report further when the response has been published.
The launch of this consultation shows the increasing scrutiny being placed on employers by the government regarding non-compliance within the labour market and the government's intention of enforcing increased sanctions.
This should serve as a reminder to employers to ensure that they are compliant with the relevant legislation with regard to their workforce. This includes ensuring that the correct documentation is in place, that workers benefit from at least the statutory minimum entitlements in terms of pay, working time and holiday, and that all employees have the right to work in the UK. VWV can provide specialist advice including an audit of your workforce to identify any key risks to your business.