The government has appointed a new pay and pricing guru, with Sir David Metcalf set to take up the new position of Director of Labour Market Enforcement.
Sir Metcalf has in the past advised on matters such as the minimum wage, salaries of judges and betting prices. In his new role, he will oversee the coming together of three enforcement bodies: The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA), Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) National Minimum Wage enforcement team and Employment Agency Standards (EAS) Inspectorate.
Although Sir Metcalf lacks business experience, he will be charged with choosing the sectors to target for unscrupulous employment practices. His decision will be based on input from the three enforcement bodies. In addition, he will set the strategic priorities for the teams and select the regions where their crackdown on exploitation will be focused.
Sir Metcalf said: “The UK is by and large a fair and safe place to work [but] there are still rogue employers who exploit their workers and undercut honest businesses. This will not go unpunished.”
The Freelancer and Contractor Services Association (FCSA) has said it welcomes any opportunity to combat unscrupulous workplace practices and agrees undercutting is unfair to those companies who obey the rules.
The FCSA said: “It has become increasingly difficult for legitimate businesses to compete with these schemes, so we fully support the … move to tackle them.”
Business Minister Margot James has said the government is determined to ensure the economy works for all.