Compliance and enforcement


This cross-cutting theme is now closed for comments.

You can read comments made since the start of the Red Tape Challenge in April 2011 below.

You can also still submit comments to the Red Tape Challenge inbox by clicking here.

These regulations relate to government’s direct enforcement of employment rights, including the national minimum wage, 48 hour working week and employing agency workers.

You can find the regulations that relate to compliance and enforcement below to the left.

Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations 2007

These regulations clarify existing regulation and make amendments to ensure that employment agencies and employment businesses treat people who are looking for work properly

 UK regulation

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Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations 2010

These regulations clarify existing regulation and make amendments to ensure that employment agencies and employment businesses treat people who are looking for work properly

 UK regulation

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Road Transport (Working Time) Regulations 2005,

These regulations limit the working time of mobile road transport workers.

 EU regulation

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Gangmasters (Licensing Conditions) Rules 2009,

These regulations set out the conditions under which the Gangmasters Licensing Authority issues a gangmasters licence.

 UK regulation

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The Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004

The Act establishes a licensing scheme for the supply or use of vulnerable workers in agriculture and establishes a body (the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA)) to operate and enforce the scheme.

 UK regulation

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Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004 (Commencement No 1) Order 2004

This Order creates the GLA and gives it powers to make further regulations needed to operate a licensing scheme for gangmasters.

 UK regulation

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Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004 (Commencement No 2) Order 2005

This Order permits the GLA to issue gangmasters licences and allows GLA officers to carry out site inspections.

 UK regulation

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Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004 (Commencement No 3) Order 2006

This Order makes it an offence to act as a gangmaster without a GLA licence in the agriculture and in food processing & packaging sectors.

 UK regulation

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Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004 (Commencement No 4) Order 2006

This Order makes it an offence to obtain labour from an unlicensed gangmaster in the agriculture and in food processing & packaging sectors.

 UK regulation

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Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004 (Commencement No 5) Order 2007

This Order makes it an offence to act as a gangmaster without a licence or obtain labour from an unlicensed gangmaster in the shellfish gathering sector.

 UK regulation

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The Gangmasters (Licensing Authority) Regulations 2005

These regulations set out the duties and responsibilities of the Chairman and Board of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority and lists the bodies which may nominate members to sit on the Board.

 UK regulation

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Gangmasters Licensing (Exclusions) Regulations 2010

These regulations set when it is permissible to act as a gangmaster without a licence.

 UK regulation

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Gangmasters (Appeals) Regulations 2006

These regulations allow a gangmaster to appeal against a decision by the GLA to refuse or revoke their licence.

 UK regulation

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Children (Protection at Work) Regulations 1998

These regulations set a mimimum age for employing a child at 14 years of age and set the rules to protect those children in the workplace.

 EU regulation

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Children (Protection at Work) Regulations 2000

These regulations aim to protect children woking specifically in agricultural or horticultural jobs, street trading and taking part in dangerous performances.

 EU regulation

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Children (Protection at Work) (No 2) Regulations 2000

These regulations limit the hours children are allowed to work per week in term time

 EU regulation

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Tell us what you think should happen to these regulations and why, being specific where possible:

869 responses to Compliance and enforcement

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    Jackie Oliver said on October 3, 2011 at 11:54 am

    The £500 Employment Tribunal fee to bring in a claim will prevent low earner from bringing a valid claim before and Employment Tribunal and may deter unlawful deduction of wages small claims altogether. In my opinion I believe that there needs to be more robust checking of claims by the Employment Tribunals before they are accepted instead. There are large numbers of claims that are accepted that do not have prospects of success. many of these claims fall into the discrimination categories as employees submit claims on these grounds whether or not they have prospects. The cost burden on all employers on managing these nuisance claims could be avoided with more robust checking by the Employment Tribunal service. There are genuine discrimination claims from employees who have been unfairly treated by their employer however in my experience there are also large numbers of spurious claims that employers have to defend.

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    Tracey said on October 3, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Writing as an employee and HR Manager, I think the balance needs to be right. People do need some protection from the rogue employers but I think employment law has gone a little too far. Take redundancy consultation as an example. Realistically, what are the chances of finding an ‘at risk’ employee alternative employment within the business, especially when it’s a small business. Most redundancies occur because of a downturn in workload or to provide cost savings. How can it be helpful to the employee by dragging it out for weeks.

    Regarding Tribunals, an employer loses everytime. Even if they win the case, they are still faced with large legal fees or a settlement cost if they choose not to fight it. I think employee’s should be made to pay the legal costs if they lose (or paid by the Solicitor or Union representing them). This will deter the chancers. I also think a pre-hearing should be enforced for each Tribunal claim so the ones with little chance of success are thrown out immediately.

    The other thing that frustrates me is the holiday pay for casual workers, they receive this based on the hours they work and their average earnings over a previous 12 week period. Apart from it being an administrative nightmare, permanent employee’s do not receive holiday pay based on average earnings so any overtime they work at an enhanced rate is not taken into consideration. This is unfair isn’t it?

    Current employment legislation makes it hard for employers and if they see a problem with a new recruit they are more likely to terminate their contract before the qualifying years service to avoid the risky and lengthy procedures required beyond that.

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    Ms May said on October 3, 2011 at 10:29 am

    CRB checks and portability, the current process is long winded, it is confusing why CRB’s are not portable. they should be.

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    Bob Worsley said on September 1, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Not certain if this is the correct place to post this, please move if necessary.

    Employing someone is an impossible burden for the self employed. Statistics suggest that if every self employed business took on one youngster then there would be a shortage of them.

    Why not simplify the whole mess.

    Applies to any business with, say, less than three people in it.

    Health and safety doesn’t apply. The employee is assumed to have done a thorough course in being employed so they know exactly what the H&S requirements are. To police it any employee has access 24/7 to experts where they can query any practice being asked of them. All employee insurance is paid and organised by the employee.

    The employee is paid using intelligent cards. The employer has a card machine that allows them to enter details of work, rates, pay etc which is then sent to HMRC and a suitable amount less taxes then paid into the employees bank account. This automates the process of payments, no pensions, no NIC, no deductions, all this is done by HMRC. Paper copies are printed for both parties and signed.

    All employers and employees have an on line presence. Here is where feedback comments etc can be posted so each side have an idea of what they are taking on. This seemed to work exceptionally well on an auction site until it was emasculated to the point of uselessness.

    No small business can really employ someone all day, all week and all year. What could be useful is a way of both automating and simplifying the casual employment of people.

    If I want some help for a day, moving things, painting things, whatever. Wouldn’t it be nice to just go online or phone to arrange. I don’t need to worry about insurance, protective clothing, training, pensions and all the other thousand and one details that take a full time person to arrange. Might only be a day a month, but I reckon I know enough about engineering and business to make my advice worth far more to the employee than what I pay them. At the moment of course this knowledge will die with me.

    The reservation in villages of small areas of land for building small, less than 100 sq m, workshops. I would suggest that these can be the rather nice log cabins now available at very reasonable cost. Bit of insulation and they are excellent. Take them out of planning law with a limited life, say 25 years. Not renting. Rent is money wasted, once spent you never get any back. If I can buy a small unit, use it, and then sell it, or the plot of land, on when I no longer need it then some of my investment is restored. This is hugely significant at the moment with the collapse in private pension payments. I have to watch every penny like a hawk.

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    Mrs Margaret Bird said on August 4, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Working Time Regulations – accrual of holidays while off sick. This area of law has suffered from uncertainty for far too long. The UK should adopt the rule that holidays can be carried over for a maximum of 18 months (following the recent case of KHS AG v Winfried Schulte, where the advocate general’s opinion). Although a change in legislation to include an 18 month carry over in cases of long term sickness would not be popular it would give a long awaited certainty to the situation.

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    Ralph Holland said on July 8, 2011 at 1:08 am

    Scrap the National Minimum Wage.

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    Tony Slipper said on July 1, 2011 at 7:50 am

    There needs to be more robust vetting of claims leading to an employment tribunal. Currently ACAS restrict themselves to asking whether the two parties can come to a compromise. Employees should be told whether their case has any merit or realistic chance of a positive outcome for them. Putting a financial barrier between the employee and a tribunal is one thing but certain employees will still waste hundreds of hours for the employer and the courts because they are intransigent.

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    Tony Slipper said on July 1, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Regular Minimum Wage Audits should be scrapped. This is almost self regulatory and should be dealt with by exception. Employees understand their rights which are widely publicised. If they feel they need to involve the NMW audit department of the Inland Revenue then an audit may be required. Random audits are hugely time consuming and look like a job creation/protection exercise.

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    Paul Durkin said on June 6, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    I am a volunteer for four organisations; School governor (22 years) ; festival organiser;Hospital governor and Hospital LINKS member / visitor.Regarding Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Can we have sme portability of CRB For example regarding my heath duties,I am told to have two CRBs to visit the same hospital.A possible four in total.One each organisation plainly ridiculous.

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    Alan Ross said on June 2, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Stevenage CAB finds the proposal to cap unfair dismissal claims at £67,000 is unnecessary. In order to comply with existing judicial guidelines the ‘VENTO’ bands for ‘injury to feelings’ compensation control that component well below the limit. The ‘damage’ compensation for various forms of discrimination (£7,000 – £9,000) is low and the ‘loss of earnings’ compensation is mitigated by the applicants ‘duty to limit loss’, all making the cap irrelevant.

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    Alan Ross said on June 2, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Proposed Tribunal fee
    The £500 tribunal fee will limit the bringing of relatively small claims but in doing so will deny justice, particularly for those on minimum wage/low income. It is likely to lead to rogue employers not paying notice pay, wages, overtime and holiday pay where they are aware the client does not have the financial capacity to take out a claim. The fee is unlikely to stop the ‘professional’ vexatious litigants.

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    Des Lawson said on May 31, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    My concern is the amount of data requests we receive from the Office of National Statistics for individual employee information. The time and therefore costs of providing this data and for what purpose?
    I personally did hope it was one of te quanges that would be removed.

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    Sandra Shevey said on May 25, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    The Rehabilitations Act 1974 precludes past offenders ever dealing with children and/or vulnerable people. I was under the impression the act had been scrapped. It should be.

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    Simon Jeffreys said on May 12, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    All of these perform small but necessary functions in respect of the principal law they support. Those principal laws are good laws.

    None of them have any relevance to the 8 posts below in this section at the moment.

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    Tim Wood said on April 18, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Development needs to take place ot enable full portability of these checks. They are effectively a tax on workers, and severely slow recruitment processes for many organisations. Employment businesses are amongst many types of employer who are affected. But workers needing mulitple checks are also affected by the requirement to provide a new check every time they commence a new job or assignment.

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    r e george said on April 13, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    i think to do away with assay offices and stopping all hallmarking is more than madness

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    Andy Platt said on April 10, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Procedures to enforce employment tribunal awards should be made much easier. Stop dodgy employers dodging their responsibilities.

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    paul isaacs said on April 9, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    I run a small business and am the main income generator. There is so much regulation and it is so complex that a lot of my time is tied up ijn it and I live in contant terror of being caught out for some minor lapse. As aresult I generate less income. And so employ fewer people and invest less. Can anyone in government work out that everyone loses this way?

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    M Bolton said on April 8, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Let the market decide the employment value and rates, but i also think that every individual should be paid gross wages excluding any deduction of taxation which should be collected as a open fair sales tax.

    Fairtax Now…!

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    Annette Middleton said on April 8, 2011 at 8:32 am

    I am required to complete a monthly survey by the Office for national Statistics, in addtional to several ones which are six monthly. I have no idea what happens to the information, and from my company’s perspective, as a small organisation of 80 employees, this is time we just don’t have available. Presumabley all companies are not asked to do this – so couldn’t it be arranged so that the surveys are only sent for a set period – e.g. 2 years (if you need comparator years)? I have asked for them not to be sent, as we are struggling with our workload, but this was ignored.

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