Good Work Plan: Establishing a new Single Enforcement Body for employment rights
In 2018/19, Citizens Advice helped more than 140,000 people with issues relating to employment. Millions more have accessed our employment advice online. We therefore have a detailed understanding of how the labour market is changing and the implications this has for the lives of workers.
We are pleased to respond to the government’s consultation on creating a single enforcement body for employment rights and we strongly welcome the intent to establish such a long-needed body. Our key recommendations are:
The new body must be able to adapt to changes in the labour market. This means the Secretary of State must be able to alter its remit appropriately through secondary legislation.
In addition to the functions of the current enforcement bodies, the initial remit of the organisation should include enforcing holiday pay, Statutory Sick Pay, the payment of tribunal awards, and the correct allocation of employment status.
We have called for this innovation for over twenty years. The creation of this agency will mark a genuine step forward for workers' rights in the UK. It will make enforcement far easier for workers to navigate, by providing a single point of contact for all issues, and is an opportunity to extend and strengthen the public enforcement of employment rights.
Establishing this body is crucial to the success of the wider Good Work Plan. The Plan proposes many important improvements and clarifications to workers’ rights, but it will only be successful if changes in the law result in changes in practice. Rights are only as strong as your ability to enforce them.
Because of this, we support the proposal that the new body expands the remit of current labour market enforcement. It’s important, though, that adequate additional resources are committed to any new enforcement areas in order to ensure that both new and existing areas have sufficient resources to be effective.