Association of Labour Providers launches Manifesto for a Fair Labour Market

The Association of Labour Providers (ALP) has launched a 10-point Manifesto for a Fair Labour Market outlining priorities and policy proposals for a future government.

Representing the interests of labour providers and the businesses that use them, the ALP said: “We are committed to fostering a fair and inclusive labour market that benefits both workers and businesses alike… while promoting economic growth and prosperity.”

The 10 points are:

  1. Streamline key legislation. Suggested is an annual Employment Bill to deal with employment rights, minimum wage, holiday entitlement, working time and sickness absence. Also recommended is the introduction of legislation providing for “the presumption of an employment relationship for gig workers when the platform controls and directs the worker”. It goes on to suggest that the burden of proof should lie with the gig platform to prove that there is no employment relationship if they are genuinely engaging workers on a self-employed basis.
  2. Introduce evidence-based immigration policies. Introduce a ‘fit for purpose’, evidence-based immigration to work system, meeting the needs of UK employers whilst not disadvantaging the resident workforce. Measures could include redefining the role of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), similar to that provided by the Independent Low Pay Commission, and producing an annual evidence-based report on occupations where there are not enough resident workers to fulfil industry requirements and conducting a detailed inquiry into the size and nature of the estimated 1.2m undocumented workers in the UK, alongside a number of other key factors.
  3. Promote effective consultation and collaboration. Work with appropriate business representatives to ensure regulation and guidance are practical, comprehensive and up to date.
  4. Tackle labour exploitation. Suggested measures include undertaking a radical overhaul of vetting, monitoring and enforcement of businesses holding a sponsor licence on all immigration routes.
  5. Enforce work rights. Recommended steps include introduce a properly governed and resourced Single Enforcement Body tasked with remedying failures in current labour market regulation and ensuring robust enforcement mechanisms for the future, extend licensing of recruiters to the health and care worker visa worker recruitment supply chain and require the director of labour market enforcement to report on other sectors such as car washing, waste processing and garment manufacture where intervention such as licensing or a Supply Code of Practice is required to address egregious exploitation. 
  6. Provide access to justice. Suggested measures include rebranding Acas with “a name that is clear to all” such as ‘The Work Rights Helpline’ and make it be the single source of all employment information on GOV.UK and more detailed guidance to industry.
  7. Ensure a flexible labour market. Recommendations include mutually beneficial flexible working arrangements that accommodate diverse lifestyles and employment preferences and conduct a structural review of the legal right to ‘chain-leasing’, the ability for umbrella companies and other intermediaries to interpose themselves contractually or otherwise between the employment business and the worker.
  8. Enhance access to work. This point covers a variety of concerns such as future labour market policy, an overhaul of national skills policy, reform of the Apprenticeship Levy, social policy initiatives, redesigning accommodation rules, conducting a national ‘transport to work’ review and more.
  9. Make work pay. Addressing unemployment, underemployment and economic inactivity, including the implementation of a work tax and National Insurance strategy, which does not financially disincentivise businesses from providing full-time work.
  10. Ensure fair payment throughout supply chains. Recommended measures include adopting the Prompt Payment Code into law with a mandatory 30-day maximum payment period with late payment interest and potential charges. 

The ALP is a not-for-profit trade association.

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