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Illegal Labour

Volume 564: debated on Monday 10 June 2013

12. What change there has been in the number of businesses fined for employing illegal labour since 2010. (158500)

Dealing with illegal working is a priority for the Government. As has been mentioned, I attended an illegal working operation in Cardiff about a week ago and saw a number of successful arrests of people who were working illegally. We want to do more of this. Recent figures have not been as encouraging as one would have hoped. This year, with the creation of the immigration enforcement command, I am determined to see an increased focus on the issue in order to deliver the results we expect.

Despite all that, the Minister has not had much success, has he? In 2010, 2,092 companies were fined for employing illegal labour, but by 2012 that figure had almost halved to 1,215. Will he work with other Departments, not just to get a grip of illegal employment, but to tackle the abuse of zero-hours contracts and of the minimum wage, so that British workers are no longer undercut by cheap, illegal labour from abroad?

I do not think that the hon. Gentleman listened to my answer. I acknowledged that the statistics had not been as good as we had hoped. I will take no lectures from somebody in the party that let immigration spiral out of control and that had no grip on the system. It is this Government who are getting a grip and who have seen net migration fall by more than a third.