This blog has been updated and the latest version is available here.
Sir David Metcalf, the first appointed Director of Labour Market Enforcement, has this week published his strategy for 2018/19 aimed at preventing the exploitation of workers.
Why is this needed?
Sir David Metcalf was appointed early 2017 as it was widely accepted that not only are some employers failing to comply with legislation and regulations when it comes to the treatment of workers but the bodies that are responsible for enforcement (such as HMRC, EAS, HSE, GLAA) do not have sufficient resources to do their job as effectively as they would like.
What does it say?
The report makes many recommendations, some of which have already been adopted by the government.
The aim of the report is not only to help workers to be more aware of their rights at work but also to help employers to become more compliant. It makes recommendations to increase resources at the key agencies, so they can share intelligence and enforce legislation and regulations much more effectively.
Here are some of the key recommendations from a worker perspective:
- improve awareness and access – give workers more information about their rights at work via social media campaigns, workplace posters etc
- extend the right to payslips to all workers (not just employees)
- improve the way workers can make complaints – giving more information on how they can complain and who they can complain to
- provide all workers with a written statement of employment within one week of starting work (currently this is two months)
Increasing employer awareness & enforcement
The report recommends increasing the number of resources at the key agencies so they can raise employer awareness of the protection that workers have and therefore the support employers should have in place.
One of the examples of how the report tries to help employers (and encourage compliance) is by recommending the government produces a template for a written statement of employment that employers can easily access and use it.
It’s clear from the report that not all employers are aware of the potential financial and reputational impact not following legislation and regulations can have on their organisations.
Should some of these recommendations be put into practice, it would result in not only increased financial penalties being placed on employers but also greater ‘naming and shaming’ of organisations who are failing to protect their workers.
What happens next?
We now need to wait for the government’s official response to the report, which is due later this year.
While it may not yet end exploitation, if some of the key recommendations are taken forward it could go a long way to helping employers to see why it’s important that their workers are protected and to informing workers of their rights in the workplace.
Why not give Cornerstone a call & review what you have in place?
We can do a ‘HR Health Check‘ with you and recommend how you might improve what you currently do to support your people.
Contact us today so we can book an appointment.
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