Rogue employers under fire

19-12-2007

Rogue employers under fire
A fair employment commission is needed to protect workers from being exploited by rogue employers, the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) said today.

The network of charities claims that tens of thousands of vulnerable workers in the UK are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous employers.

There are currently four statutory bodies tasked with enforcing workers' rights but the CAB argues they are not comprehensive and leave many workers unprotected.

It says a commission backed by legal powers and resources would secure individual worker's rights and make sure bad employers are held to account.

Practices the CAB and CAB Scotland claim are being carried out in some workplaces include non payment of tax and national insurance.

They say this puts good employers at a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace, forcing them to cut corners and potentially triggering a fall in wages and conditions.

Across the UK in 2006 the CAB dealt with over 500,000 employment-related matters, 60 per cent of which involved statutory rights being denied - including four weeks paid holiday per year and statutory sick leave and pay.

Those most at risk, the CAB says, include pregnant women, migrants and people who would find alternative employment difficult on account of their age or disability.

CAB chief executive David Harker said: "While the vast majority of employers try hard to meet their legal obligations, our evidence shows that there are still far too many rogues out there, flouting the law, ignoring rules without sanction and profiting from vulnerable workers.

"We welcome the UK government's increasing recognition of the problems caused by rogue employers and the difficulties faced by the most vulnerable workers, but much more still needs to be done."

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