KPMG has responded to BEIS’s consultation on establishing a new single enforcement agency for enforcing employment rights.
The Good Work plan promises to bring employment law into the 21st century. In addition to modernising employment rights, effective enforcement of those rights has been identified as an area in need of reform to protect the most vulnerable workers.
Currently, a range of different agencies are responsible for enforcing employment rights, such as HMRC, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Health and Safety Executive and the Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority. The concern is that this fragmented approach to enforcement means vulnerable workers do not know who to turn to for advice on, and enforcement of, those rights. The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) sought opinions on its proposal to establish one enforcement agency and, in particular, what rights should fall within the remit of this new agency.
KPMG agreed that a new single enforcement agency should be established. Whilst some rights are effectively enforced, such as the National Minimum Wage (NMW), we consider that the current array of enforcement agencies and guidance makes it difficult for vulnerable workers to seek protection. We also consider that one agency could lead to more consistent enforcement of employment rights.
However, for such an agency to be a success, we recommended that:
Whilst the consultation has only recently closed, KPMG considers it is likely various employment rights will be brought within the remit of a single agency. We wait to see exactly which employment rights will fall within this agency and how it approaches enforcement.
KPMG has extensive experience in pay compliance, employment rights, employment tax and modern slavery.
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