New ‘workers’ watchdog’ should do a much better job of stamping out labour market abuses

Responding to the Government’s announcement of a new ‘workers’ watchdog’ today (Tuesday), Lindsay Judge, Research Director of the Resolution Foundation, said:

“Labour market rules are only effective if they are enforced properly, and the current fragmented system often leaves workers most in need to support to fall through the cracks.

“A new Single Enforcement Body is therefore a welcome move for both vulnerable workers and good employers, and should help to stamp out common labour market abuses such as underpayment of the minimum wage, holiday pay and pension entitlements.

“For the body to be effective however, it will need to be well resourced and given sufficient legal teeth.”

Recent Resolution Foundation research on labour market enforcement, which called for a new Single Enforcement Body, has found that:

  • The proportion of low-paid workers doing insecure work rose to almost one-in-four in the wake of the financial crisis;
  • Close to one-in-twenty workers are being ‘under-enrolled’ in company pension schemes;
  • Around one-in-twenty workers report receiving no paid holiday entitlement; and,
  • Almost one-in-ten workers do not receive a legally required payslip.