Written by: Keith Tully
Date: Tuesday 25th July, 2017
Big companies could soon find themselves being fined for failings in relation to labour laws identified at businesses within their supply chains.
Plans to that effect are being prepared by the UK’s new employment enforcement tsar Sir David Metcalf, who is aiming to crack down on a variety of labour law abuses.
Particular areas of focus for Sir David are expected to be issues within the retailing and construction sectors, and violations of minimum wage laws.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Sir David explained that industry giants could soon find themselves facing fines and legal proceedings if their suppliers are found to have been involved in any wrongdoing.
The hope is that by bringing major industry players into the frame in relation to supply chain abuses, illegal or problematic practices will become less and less commonplace and widespread.
“It may be that you get the household names – the Sainsbury’s or the Balfour Beattys, as it were – to organise certification of their supply chain,” he explained.
“In other countries for example, in Australia and in Belgium, they have what’s called joint liability. So the household name could in principle become jointly liable for the non-compliance further down the supply chain.”
Sir David was appointed as the government’s first director of labour market enforcement in January of this year and assigned the task of identifying sectors and regions vulnerable to labour law violations and informing of the most effective responses.
He is responsible for setting the priorities of HMRC’s National Minimum Wage enforcement team, as well as the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority.
Explaining his plans, Sir David said that his intended enforcement model would see larger companies informed by HMRC of wrongdoing by suppliers and given a chance to clamp down on any unlawful practices before they were then held partially responsible and fined.
“You give them the chance to go to the sub-contractor and say, ‘get your act together or we’ll get rid of you’, but if for some reason that doesn’t happen they can be jointly liable,” he explained in conversation.
13th December 2017 According to the latest data from the National Office for Statistics (ONS), the consumer price index (CPI) rate of inflation was tracked at 3.1 per cent in November.
30th November 2017 HMRC is increasingly targeting senior company executives with fines in its efforts to clamp down on corporate accounting irregularities and failings.
28th November 2017 Retailers could be set for an underwhelming festive period if the latest polls on consumer confidence are to be believed.
22nd November 2017 Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, took to the podium this lunchtime to deliver his first official Autumn budget which he promised was going to be about “much more than Brexit”.
7th November 2017 Sales of non-food products among retailers across the UK showed a record low level of growth in the year to October 2017.
Every day we help companies just like yours turn things around against seemingly impossible odds, regardless of your situation we can help. Find your nearest office today.