New offence of Aggravated Labour Law Breach?
The Government has recently closed a consultation exercise on the introduction of a new criminal offence of aggravated labour law breach, designed to punish employers who breach employment law and, in doing so, deprive a worker of their rights or exploit a worker. In some situations, the current enforcement framework permits state enforcement bodies to enforce legislation, for example:
- HMRC for breaches of the national minimum wage;
- Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate enforces the Employment Agencies Act 1973 and the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003; and
- the Gangmasters Licensing Authority enforces the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004.
- establishing a statutory Director of Labour Market Enforcement who will set the priorities for the enforcement bodies across the spectrum of non-compliance
- increasing the sharing or intelligence and data between the existing enforcement agencies; and
- widening the remit and strengthening the powers of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority to tackle serious exploitation.