2 minute read | February.15.2023
The Competition and Markets Authority (the “CMA”) has published new guidance for UK employers on how to avoid anti-competitive behaviour. The aim of this is to ensure staff are paid fairly for their work and can opt to move to another employer where pay and conditions are better. This serves as a reminder to employers of their legal obligation to comply with competition law and that collusion between employers in respect of employee pay, working conditions and the hiring of staff is illegal and can have severe consequences for both businesses and individuals. Penalties for businesses found to have engaged in anti-competitive behaviour may include fines of up to 10% of worldwide turnover and individuals found personally liable may face criminal sanctions including fines, imprisonment, and disqualification as a director.
The CMA identifies three main types of anti-competitive behaviours in labour markets, which they describe as ‘business cartels’:
To avoid engaging in anti-competitive behaviour, the CMA recommends businesses take the following steps:
Businesses should seek legal advice if they have entered into a no-poaching or wage-fixing agreement or are aware of any other possible breaches of UK competition law.