Government outlines plans to protect vulnerable workers

The government has published a strategy paper setting out its aims to protect vulnerable workers, cracking down on rogue employers and lightening the load for legitimate business.

The paper, Success at Work – protecting vulnerable workers, supporting good employers, sets out the government’s commitments on employment relations, with an increased focus on vulnerable workers and those who abuse them.Trade and industry secretary Alan Johnson said that to help the most vulnerable workers, he would

  • Fulfil the government’s commitment to make time equivalent to bank holidays additional to annual holiday entitlement.
  • Introduce a new pilot to provide a comprehensive approach to identifying and helping vulnerable workers, as well as cracking down on employers operating illegally.
  • Ensure targeted enforcement clamps down on rogue employers. The minimum wage enforcement pilots will be rolled out to other sectors and employment agencies who exploit vulnerable workers will be targeted.
  • Ensure employees have better awareness of their employment rights.

The strategy also sets out a number of measures to help business, including:

  • Identifying ways to simplify employment law by reviewing discrimination law, redundancy payments and dispute resolution procedures.
  • Working with employers and HR professionals to consider an employment standard to reduce compliance burdens on small business.
  • Considering tougher action on employers who use illegal migrant labour.

Johnson said: “We have delivered more people in work and solid economic growth while at the same time achieving a fundamental shift in decent minimum standards in the workplace – and contrary to the doubters, the sky has not fallen in.”

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