Renewed pressure on big retailers to improve “unscrupulous” practices has come today with the appointment of a new director of labour market enforcement.
Amid an inquiry into corporate governance and fair working practices in the wake of the Sports Direct and BHS scandals, the government has announced the introduction of harsher punishment for those who fail to pay the minimum wage.
Sir David Metcalf will now oversee the invigorated crackdown, setting the priorities for the Labour Abuse Authority, Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate, Gangmasters and the HMRC’s national living wage enforcement unit.
Metcalf, who previously held a role as advisor to Downing Street on migration, commented: “While the UK is by and large a fair and safe place to work, there are still rogue employers who exploit their workers and undercut honest businesses. As the Government has made clear, this will not go unpunished.”
Repeat offenders who fail to pay the minimum wage, or are found guilty of labour market offences, could now face up to two years in prison.
A new national minimum wage and living wage awareness campaign costing £1.7 million will be launched later this month.