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Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

LABOUR MARKET EXPLOITATION: Crime and punishment

04 December 2015  

Louise Benski and Richard Kenyon examine the trend towards state enforcement of employment law rights, including the proposals to tackle abuse of vulnerable workers

The criminal law can encroach into employment territory in a number of ways. Obvious examples might include breaches of health and safety, national minimum wage (NMW) and anti-bribery legislation. But there are less obvious examples too. Hands up all those who knew that s165(2) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 criminalises an employer who fails, without reasonable excuse, to provide written particulars of a redundancy payment calculation? It is not enough for the employer merely to type the employee’s termination date, age, service and weekly pay into www.gov.uk to calculate the statutory redundancy pay due. If the employer then provides only the answer and not the calculation to the employee, it could be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 1 on the standard scale. And if the employee then requests a written statement under s165(3) and the employer fails to respond within the set notice period, it could face a fine under s165(4) not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale. For all those with your hands up, well done. Now leave them up if you know of any employer that has actually been prosecuted under these provisions. What, no hands?

 

Last modified on 04 December 2015