The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has pledged to increase enforcement to make sure good businesses aren’t undercut by unscrupulous rival employers who aren’t paying or treating their workers correctly.
As low charge rates (in comparison to market rates) are also an indicator of exploitation, modern slavery or illegal working.
The government is also proposing legislating in their green paper – Transforming public procurement to further tackle payment delays in public sector supply chains and give small businesses, charities and social enterprises (deep in the supply chain) better access to contracting authorities to expose payment delays.
The BEIS announced plans to create a new Authority to take over the responsibility for tackling modern slavery, enforcing minimum wage and protecting agency workers.
With the following 3 departments combined to create a single enforcement body:
The Director of Labour Market Enforcement – Margaret Beels, has also requested evidence on the challenges (in terms of compliance and enforcement) for the 3 enforcement bodies under the Director of Labour Market Enforcements remit (GLAA, EAS, HMRC NMW)
Labour exploitation involves coercion, (victims cannot freely leave for other employment) receiving unacceptable low pay, poor working conditions or excessive wage reductions.
Victims are employed in a legitimate and often low-skilled job, with legal working conditions, by an employer unrelated to the offenders.
Most or all wages are taken by offenders often through control of the victims' bank accounts.
The UK Government has produced a free Modern Slavery fact sheet on labour exploitation.
Victims of modern slavery can be men, women or children. They can be British citizens living in the UK, EU nationals, or those from outside the EU e.g. Ukraine.
The Labour Market Enforcement Strategy for 2023 to 2024 is due to be delivered to government in autumn 2022, with stakeholder engagement scheduled for June 2022.
Naomi Clews Consultancy
Procurement, Tendering, Business Skills