The Government should set up a state body for ensuring employers do not evade holiday pay, should enforce the right to a payslip and ensure workers have the right to a written statement in week one outlining their employment rights, according to a new report.
The report by Sir David Metcalf, Director of Labour Market Enforcement, says all workers should have better information on their employment rights and calls for the setting-up of a dedicated web portal linking all related enforcement bodies and targeted social media campaigns to raise awareness.
The report says all workers should have the right to a payslip for all workers which includes total hours worked and hourly rate of pay for hourly paid workers. It adds that complaints channels need to be improved, including clearer web presence for the three bodies and Acas to help steer workers in the right direction when seeking redress.
The report also calls for HMRC to prosecute the absence of, or failure to keep adequate, records as a standalone offence, for a greater emphasis on measuring outcomes with regard to non-compliance with employment regulations, the amendment of public procurement contract templates to include an emphasis on employment law obligations and licensing pilots for nail bars and car washes on a limited geographical basis in the coming year.
The report covers everything from non-compliance with the National Living Wage to modern slavery and says naming and shaming non compliant employers is effective, but needs to be backed up by action to enforce the law and support for employers.
The report says it is estimated that 342,000 jobs were paid below the National Living Wage in 2017 and that total unpaid wages amounted to £3.1 billion in 2016. Over half of this is due to unpaid holiday pay. The report estimates that the 6.6 million workers in the bottom 30 per cent of the wage distribution are each incurring an annual pay penalty of £470 as a result. Agency workers were singled out for mention, with the report stating that around £4.5 billion is misappropriated from agency workers annually – over half of which is due to unpaid holiday pay.