Labour market enforcement gap 2021

This briefing, co-authored by Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX) and Unchecked UK, outlines the extent of the UK labour market’s enforcement gap. It shows that the resourcing and staffing of UK enforcement agencies are unfit for purpose and highlights the gaps affecting key sectors of the economy where workers are most vulnerable. Finally, it sets out the need for effective resourcing of the crucial agencies which are tasked with enforcing the rules that govern the UK labour market.

Despite the Government’s commitment to strengthening workplace protections and the introduction of some policies to support this goal, too many labour market trends are moving in the wrong direction. Whether by underpayment of the minimum wage or the prevalence of unsafe workplaces, the evidence shows that infringements are more common, and that labour exploitation is intensifying.

This briefing shows how under-funding of enforcement agencies persists, having a direct impact on how agencies operate. Ultimately, workplace protections are only as strong as the enforcement which underpins them. The UK labour market is now subject to a serious and widening enforcement gap. The cost of this gap isn’t just to the economy but to all the working people who rely on these protections to keep them safe and ensure that they are paid fairly.

Download the report

 Labour Market Enforcement Gap 2021

This briefing, co-authored by Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX) and Unchecked UK, outlines the extent of the UK labour market’s enforcement gap. It shows that the resourcing and staffing of UK enforcement agencies are unfit for purpose and highlights the gaps affecting key sectors of the economy where workers are most vulnerable. Finally, it sets out the need for effective resourcing of the crucial agencies which are tasked with enforcing the rules that govern the UK labour market.

Despite the Government’s commitment to strengthening workplace protections and the introduction of some policies to support this goal, too many labour market trends are moving in the wrong direction. Whether by underpayment of the minimum wage or the prevalence of unsafe workplaces, the evidence shows that infringements are more common, and that labour exploitation is intensifying.

This briefing shows how under-funding of enforcement agencies persists, having a direct impact on how agencies operate. Ultimately, workplace protections are only as strong as the enforcement which underpins them. The UK labour market is now subject to a serious and widening enforcement gap. The cost of this gap isn’t just to the economy but to all the working people who rely on these protections to keep them safe and ensure that they are paid fairly.

 

Download the report

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