News story: Andrea Coscelli named CEO of Competition and Markets Authority

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark, has appointed Andrea Coscelli as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Dr Coscelli has held the position of Acting CEO since July 2016, taking on the role from the previous incumbent, Alex Chisholm.

The CMA is the UK’s independent competition authority. It has responsibility for carrying out investigations into mergers, markets and the regulated industries and enforcing competition and consumer law, with the aim of making markets work well for consumers, businesses and the economy.

Dr Coscelli has been an Executive Director at the CMA since 2013. Prior to joining the CMA, Dr Coscelli was the Director of Economic Analysis at Ofcom, the regulatory and competition authority of the telecommunications, postal and broadcasting industries. He was previously a Vice President at Charles River Associates where he represented many different businesses on competition and regulation matters in various European countries.

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark said:

I am delighted to announce the appointment of Andrea Coscelli as CEO of the Competition and Markets Authority. Dr Coscelli is a recognised expert in competition and regulation, and commands respect in the business, and regulatory and academic community. I have no doubt he will make good use of his experience to further the CMA’s position as a world-respected regulatory and enforcement body.

I want to congratulate Dr Coscelli on his success in the role of Acting CEO, and I look forward to working closely with him in the coming years.

Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive Officer of the Competition and Markets Authority, said:

I am honoured to have been chosen to lead the organisation through the next phase of its development. The CMA has a central role to play in helping ensure people get a good deal from businesses. The role of markets is under public scrutiny and we will be actively engaging in that debate. As a core part of our role we will aim to connect right across the UK’s nations and regions to fully understand the challenges different groups of consumers and businesses face, and how we can help them.

We must also help ensure the continuing waves of exciting innovation in products and services fully benefit consumers and growth in the economy. As part of this, we need to ensure we intervene in markets in a timely and effective way, and only when necessary.

The coming years bring significant opportunities and challenges, in particular shaping and resourcing our regime for when the UK exits the EU. We enter this new phase from a strong base, with a skilled staff and well established ways of working.

David Currie, Competition and Markets Authority Chairman, said:

I and the CMA Board are delighted at Andrea’s appointment as Chief Executive. He has been outstanding in his role as Acting CEO over the past year, as the CMA has greatly increased competition and consumer enforcement, and was a key member of the senior team during the organisation’s successful formation. We have every confidence in his leadership as the CMA steps up to the major opportunities and challenges that the next few years will bring.

Notes to editors

The CMA has responsibility for:

  • investigating mergers which could restrict competition
  • conducting market studies and investigations in markets where there may be competition and consumer problems
  • investigating where there may be breaches of UK or EU prohibitions against anti-competitive agreements and abuses of dominant positions
  • bringing criminal proceedings against individuals who commit the cartel offence
  • enforcing consumer protection legislation to tackle practices and market conditions that make it difficult for consumers to exercise choice
  • co-operating with sector regulators and encouraging them to use their competition powers
  • considering regulatory references and appeals.

Its responsibilities are supported by a range of powers which are based on the Enterprise and Regulatory Act 2013.

Press release: Government announces additional support for social care providers

The government today (26 July 2017) announced it has temporarily suspended enforcement activity and is waiving historic financial penalties against employers concerning sleep-in shift pay in the social care sector.

Ministers have worked closely with the sector in response to concerns over the combined impact which financial penalties and arrears of wages could have on the stability and long-term viability of providers.

The exceptional measures announced today are intended to minimise disruption to the sector by recognising these unique pressures, and ensuring that workers receive wages they are owed.

Social care providers play a vital role in supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our society and workers in that sector should be paid fairly for the important work they do. The government remains equally committed to making sure workers in this sector receive the minimum wage they are legally entitled to, including historic arrears.

The long-term stability and success of the social care sector is a priority and the government has already allocated an extra £2 billion of funding to the sector, including an extra £1 billion this year.

The government will continue to look at this issue extremely carefully alongside industry representatives to see whether any further support is needed and ensure that action taken to protect workers is fair and proportionate, while seeing how it might be possible to minimise any impact on social care provision.

The government today announced it will:

  • waive historic financial penalties owed by employers who have underpaid their workers for overnight sleep-in shifts before 26 July 2017
  • temporarily suspend HMRC enforcement activity concerning payment of sleep-in shifts by social care providers until 2 October 2017

Government reaffirmed its expectation that all employers pay their workers according to the law, including for sleep-in shifts, as set out in guidance entitled ‘Calculating the National Minimum Wage’.

Press release: Director of Labour Market Enforcement warns rogue bosses of plans to use powers to jail worst offenders

Director of Labour Market Enforcement Sir David Metcalf today (25 July) warned rogue employers he would be consulting on how to make full use of powers to jail the worst offenders.

Sir David Metcalf was appointed in January 2017 to oversee a government crackdown on exploitation in the workplace by setting the strategic priorities for the government’s 3 enforcement agencies:

  • HMRC’s National Minimum Wage (NMW) enforcement team
  • the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA)
  • the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate (EAS)

Publishing his introductory report, Sir David said he would work with the government’s enforcement bodies to:

  • better tackle illegal practices by implementing labour market enforcement undertakings and orders, which came into force in November 2016 and carry a maximum 2-year prison sentence for serious or repeat offences
  • identify how best to ensure large employers’ supply chains do not breach labour market laws, particularly in the fashion, construction and cleaning sectors
  • review the effectiveness of current labour market enforcement efforts

Over the coming months Sir David will consult business and worker representatives, industry bodies and enforcement action groups ahead of publishing his first full labour market enforcement strategy later this year.

New enforcement statistics also released today revealed the government identified record back pay for workers, with almost £11 million for 98,000 workers in 2016 to 2017.

Sir David said:

Tackling labour market abuses is an important priority for the government and I am encouraged it has committed record funds to cracking down on exploitation.

Over the coming months I will be working with government enforcement agencies and industry bodies to better identify and punish the most serious and repeat offenders taking advantage of vulnerable workers and honest businesses.

The report is published alongside this year’s National Minimum and Living Wage enforcement statistics. The figures show in 2016 to 2017 HMRC’s enforcement teams identified a record £10.9 million in back pay for 98,150 of the UK’s lowest paid workers – a 69% increase on those helped last year.

Businesses who failed to pay workers at least the legal minimum wage were also fined £3.9 million, with employers in hospitality and retail sectors among the most prolific offenders.

Business Minister Margot James said:

This government is firmly on the side of hard-working people and we are determined to stamp out any workplace exploitation, from minimum wage abuses to modern slavery.

While the majority of employers create a fair and safe environment for their workers, there are a small minority of rogue employers who break the law and we will use all enforcement measures at our disposal to crack down on labour market abuses.

Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability Sarah Newton said:

I welcome the director’s introductory report which recognises the importance of a collaborative approach across enforcement agencies.

I am pleased that we have extended the reach and budget of the GLAA as it will enable them to do even more, using new powers to search premises, seize evidence, and arrest those who mistreat workers.

The new powers are working, multiple arrests have already been made, including for modern slavery offences, and I am confident that GLAA officers will continue to disrupt the unscrupulous criminals who exploit the most vulnerable.

The report comes after Matthew Taylor published his independent review into modern employment practices to achieve “good quality work for all”. The government will study this review carefully over the summer and respond in detail later in the year.

Sir David will start consulting with stakeholders ahead of publishing his first full strategy later this year. To contribute please email directorsoffice@lme.gsi.gov.uk.