Workplace protections

Everyone deserves to be treated fairly at work, and to know that their basic entitlements are guaranteed; from fair wages, holiday and limits on working hours, to maternity and paternity pay and pension rights.

However, these protections are often portrayed as barriers to job creation and burdens on employers.

This approach is misguided. Strong workplace protections underpin a thriving and productive workforce.  There no evidence that the reduction of labour market regulation have any positive impact on growth.

British workers want stronger, not weaker, protections. Our polling and qualitative research find overwhelming support for strong workplace regulations across the British electorate.

Workplace protections

Everyone deserves to be treated fairly at work, and to know that their basic entitlements are guaranteed; from fair wages, holiday and limits on working hours, to maternity and paternity pay and pension rights.

However, these protections are often portrayed as barriers to job creation and burdens on employers.

This approach is misguided. Strong workplace protections underpin a thriving and productive workforce.  There no evidence that the reduction of labour market regulation have any positive impact on growth.

British workers want stronger, not weaker, protections. Our polling and qualitative research find overwhelming support for strong workplace regulations across the British electorate.

The UK’s labour market enforcement bodies – the Gangmaster and Labour Abuse Authority, the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate, the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate and the Equality and Human Rights Commission – have been subject to huge funding cuts over the last decade, alongside steep declines in staffing.

In the UK, there is now just one labour market inspector per 20,000 workers, while just 13 Employment Agencies Standards Inspectorate staff oversee the UK’s 18,000 employment agencies.

Our research shows significant declines in enforcement activity over the last decade; from investigations into abuses to convictions of gangmasters. Employers can now expect a visit from HMRC’s national minimum wage inspectors once every 500 years.

Labour Market Enforcement Gap
Enforcement Gap 2020
Making a Case for Worker Protections
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Your stories

RODNEY’S STORY

Rodney Sharpe delivered daily and Sunday papers on a 21-mile round in Maidenhead for Midcounties Co-op for over two decades.

JAMES’ STORY

"As I discovered while working for Uber, life behind the wheel can become a blur of endless traffic, enduring fatigue and relationships strained by absence."

SPORTS DIRECT WORKERS’ STORIES

"I was a picker, taking items from the shelves in the warehouse. Our speed was timed, and if you were slow you got a strike."

ANNA’S STORY

"At 16, I was finishing school in Poland and was in a new relationship with a guy who was a couple of years older than me."

BECKY’S STORY

"I never thought that this would be a label that ever applied to me – a modern day slave."

JAN’S STORY

In his home town of in the Czech Republic, Jan struck up a relationship with a girl. Unknown to him, the girl was a family member of a trafficking ring in Plymouth.