29 September 2016
Only three of 700 employers identified as underpaying their workers have been prosecuted in the past two and half years, according to a Guardian report.
While the employers were “named and shamed”, only 0.25% of them met with legal repercussions for breaking employment law.
The problem of underpaying also appears to be getting worse, as arrears owed to workers more than doubled between 2014-15 and 2015-16.
Poor enforcement is a major obstacle on the path to effective employment law and it has been more difficult to achieve with the barriers the Coalition and Conservative governments have created to workers’ access to justice, including through the implementation of tribunal fees, but also by cutting funding to enforcement agencies such as the Health and Safety Executive and Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate.
Many workers are also more vulnerable to unscrupulous employers during the rise of the so-called “gig” economy, in which agency workers, those on zero-hours contracts, and people in bogus ‘self employment’ are being exploited by employers who threaten to let them go at the drop of a hat.
Several high profile cases have recently come to the fore, including this week’s case of a man owed £14,000 by Midcounties Co-Op after being paid below the minimum wage for four years.
We will be covering the rise of insecure employment, and its affect on workers, at our Employment Law Update conference in November. See below for further details and to book your place.
Wednesday 09 November 2016
Tuesday 29 November 2016