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The formation of a Single Enforcement Body for Labour Market Regulation

Unit(s) of assessment: Business and Management Studies

Research theme: Health and Wellbeing

School: Nottingham Business School


  • The current government is committed to creating a Single Enforcement Body (SEB) for labour market regulation by combining 3 enforcement bodies to improve market compliance in informal and non-compliant business sectors.
  • The informal sector is comparably under scrutinised and requires a new approach by regulators in order to reduce market non-compliance
  • The 3 existing bodies have their own priorities and viewpoints and will transfer

Addressing the challenge

Part of the WIP Research Centre’s wider research agenda is regulation of the informal economy. The aim is to examine the processes that inform the creation of the SEB and how the nature of its formation will impact its effectiveness. The new body will combine the GLAA, HMRC NMW, and EASI. The research will develop an understanding of the merger process, the problem that the creation of the SEB will address and how this joint approach will better utilise the enforcement agency resources. Further understating as to how the market environment has changed and how the regulators have adapted, and why the presence and growth of the informal sector requires policy reform will be developed. Additionally, this formation will be compared to examples of government agency mergers and the creation of new bodies in the regulatory space.


Jack Barratt.png

Jack Barratt, Research Fellow at NBS and the WIP Research Centre

This project lead is Jack Barratt, Research Fellow at NBS and the WIP Research Centre. The project is overseen by Ian Clark (NBS), James Hunter (NTU SoSS), and Richard Pickford (NCE) and will draw on their research expertise on non-compliance and the informal sector and its regulation.  Jack and the team will also work in collaboration with the network of enforcement agencies and regulators that the WIP Research Centre draws on.

Making a difference

This work will help inform policy makers on the role and strategy the new body will need to undertake as well as highlight pitfalls to avoid. As the informal economy is a rapidly growing part of the UK economy, the need to protect its workers from abuses grows as well. By applying our understanding of the nature of the informal sector, more effective joined-up approaches which can serve to protect more individuals in the industry.