Following the appointment of Matthew Taylor as interim Director of the Labour Market Enforcement (DLME) Body in the late summer of 2019. The Department of Business Energy and industrial Strategy launched a consultation under the ‘Good Work Plan’ are seeking views on whether establishing a new Single Enforcement Body (SEB) that would combine the powers of the existing seven government bodies that have responsibility for employment enforcement. Overall BEIS wanted to seek views on whether establishing a new single enforcement body for employment rights could:

  • improve enforcement for vulnerable workers
  • create a level playing field for the majority of businesses who are complying with the law

The consultation closed on 6 October 2019, following which the newly appointed Director was asked to comment on the initial findings.

The response considered three overarching sections focussing on:

  • aims and design principles for the SEB;
  • key issues to be resolved before establishing the SEB; and,
  • other measures that could improve the SEB’s chances of success.

The DLME identified nine aims and design principles that in his opinion would be necessary for a successful SEB, which are as follows:

  • Displaying a strong unified ethos
  • High profile and credible
  • Influential and independent
  • Accessible and enabling culture
  • Powerful and innovative use of data
  • Credible and proportionate compliance and enforcement capacity
  • Maintaining strong national and local partnerships
  • Accountable, transparent and continuous learning
  • Resourcing

In addition to these aims and designs, the report also went on to discuss ‘Key issues that needed to be resolved’ prior to establishing the SEB and listed four main issues:

  • Remit
  • Powers
  • Access to data and intelligence
  • Governance

The report also listed ‘other measures which could improve the SEB’s chance of success’ which include:

  • Baseline data and single employment statement – carrying out assessments to measure the scale of non-compliance in the labour market both before and after the introduction of the SEB
  • Single employment statement – requiring organisations in the public, private and third sectors to produce a single employment statement. This would seek to capture and make public a range of employment law related commitments – including on gender pay gap reporting, as well as modern slavery statements – and would also require them to openly publish (via company annual reports for instance) any instances where they were found to be non-compliant with employment law.

Further consideration of a SEB will be given following the publication the DLME2020/21 Strategy that is to be delivered to government by the end of March 2020.

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