New enforcement body to protect workers
The government has committed to creating a new enforcement body to uphold vulnerable workers’ employment rights as part of the ‘Good Work Plan’.
Several existing organisations will be brought together for the new, single workers rights body. It will also be given new powers to deliver more effective protection for flexible workers, such as those working through umbrella companies.
The new body will be able to use civil penalties for underpayment and breaches that result in wage arrears. It will also be able to enforce statutory sick pay and holiday pay, removing the need for vulnerable workers to use employment tribunals.
A spokesperson for the FCSA, which helps regulate umbrella companies in the UK, said: “The FCSA welcomes the announcement that the proposed single enforcement body will have a remit to police the umbrella sector with a further emphasis on ensuring holiday pay for vulnerable workers is protected.
“The FCSA has long campaigned for regulation and specific legislation that further protects the agency and contractor workforce. There is now a clear statement from Government that umbrella regulation and the route to policing that regulation is on its way.”
The announcement comes on the back of a consultation into the enforcement of vulnerable workers rights. A majority of consultation respondents supported the idea of a single enforcement body arguing that it would be more effective than the current system, as long as the body was well funded.
The Good Work Plan is a government document that sets out the vision for the future of the UK labour market. It includes detail of how the government will implement recommendations from the 2017 Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices.
In total, this wide-ranging review of modern working life made 53 recommendations, including the key suggestion the government should provide ‘good work for all’.
One of the key themes of the review was the need to tackle exploitation and the potential for exploitation at work, particularly among flexible workers and other vulnerable groups.
Miles Grady, Director of Umbrella.co.uk said: “There are a number of very bad umbrella companies out there. They have got away with exploitation for too long. These new systems will balance the playing field between umbrella company and worker and, hopefully, lead to a drop in the number of bad-faith operators.”
Umbrella.co.uk is accredited by the FCSA and holds ASPCo Umbrella Company Trusted Partner status. For more information on umbrella company compliance, speak to a member of the team. Call: 0800 121 6513.