Enforce for Good

Enforce for Good: Effectively enforcing labour market rights in the 2020s and beyond

A minimum wage, paid holiday from day one, safe working conditions and non-discrimination in the workplace are all basic standards that workers are entitled to in the UK today. But these rights are not worth the paper (or screen) they are written on if non-compliant employers are not identified and required to make good any wrongs. Failing to enforce labor market rights undermines living standards by leaving workers short-changed, and allows low-margin firms to survive by giving them an unlawful edge over their compliant peers. As a result, effectively enforcing labor market rules is a crucial plank of any economic strategy that seeks to kickstart growth and reduce inequality to boot.

This report concludes a four-year work program at the Resolution Foundation supported by Unbound Philanthropy exploring the what, why and how of labor market enforcement. Here, they bring all their findings of the last four years together with new evidence from five cross-country studies to show how we could do better in the UK when it comes to enforcing labor market rights. They find that a sea change is required in enforcing labor market rights. As policy makers strive to improve worker rights, they must reform not just the protections themselves, but our current labor market enforcement regime as well.