New proposals made by The Law Society in their response to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committees’ enquiry into the future work and the rights of workers, call for responsibility to be shifted from employees having to argue for their employment rights onto employers to prove compliance with employment law.
The current framework places the onus on the worker to challenge employers, rather than the employer having to document that they are complying with legislation as a matter of course.
The proposal sets out that for larger employers, this could be implemented in the same manner as workplace heath and safety laws, requiring them to report that they comply with employment legislation with their annual business reports or on request. An example which the Law Society has put forward calls for employers to provide a statement confirming that they are paying the National Minimum Wage.
The report goes on to state that “Organisations which do not operate acceptable employment practices risk corporate failure. Boards and shareholders should be interested in employment practices and concerned if the organisation which they oversee does not welcome such scrutiny and confirm compliance through corporate reporting”, making reference to the 57% fall in profits at Sports Direct since poor employment practices were exposed.
It is important to note that nothing definitive has been put forward at this stage, these are only Law Society proposals, but they will therefore be considered by the Committee within their enquiry.