“Powerful new workers’ watchdog” to enforce employment rights

A “powerful new workers’ watchdog” will clamp down on employers who fail to pay the legal minimum wage, it has been announced.

It comes after the Government confirmed that a new regulatory body will take over responsibility for tackling modern slavery, enforcing the National Minimum Wage (NMW), and more.

According to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, the new watchdog will act as a “one-stop-shop” for issues ranging from statutory holiday and paternity pay to whistleblowing and Jack’s Law – the new legislation supporting bereaved parents.

The new body will also continue to operate the Naming and Shaming scheme, which “calls out” employers who fail to pay workers the legal minimum wage, as well as provide guidance on best practice.

At current, the enforcement and regulation of employment rights is spread across three different bodies (the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate and HMRC’s National Minimum Wage Enforcement Agency), often leaving workers confused and unable to seek redress.

Commenting on the new watchdog, Business Minister Paul Scully said: “The vast majority of businesses want to do right by their staff, but there are a minority who seem to think the law doesn’t apply to them. Exploitative practices like modern slavery have no place in society.

“This new workers’ watchdog will help us crack down on any abuses of workers’ rights and take action against companies that turn a blind eye to abuses in their supply chains, while providing a one-stop shop for employees and businesses wanting to understand their rights and obligations.”

To see the proposed details of the new body, please click here.

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