Alongside the Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, my hon. Friend the Member for Sutton and Cheam (Paul Scully), I am today publishing the Labour Market Enforcement Strategies for 2020-21 and 2021-22, submitted by the previous Director of Labour Market Enforcement, Matthew Taylor. The strategies will be available on www.gov.uk.
The Director of Labour Market Enforcement’s role was created by the Immigration Act 2016 to bring better focus and strategic co-ordination to the enforcement of labour market legislation by the three enforcement bodies which are responsible for state enforcement of specific employment rights:
The Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate (EAS);
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs National Minimum and Living Wage enforcement team (HMRC NMW/NLW team); and
The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA).
Under section 2 of the Act, the Director of Labour Market Enforcement is required by the Immigration Act 2016 to prepare an annual labour market enforcement strategy, which assesses the scale and nature of non-compliance in the labour market and sets priorities for future enforcement by the three enforcement bodies and the allocation of resources needed to deliver those priorities.
Before his term ended, Matthew Taylor submitted these strategies ahead of the statutory deadlines. It was important to take the time to work with the Director and the enforcement bodies to ensure the strategies were making the right recommendations in the face of the challenges to the labour market presented by the pandemic. We are now working closely with the enforcement bodies as they implement the recommendations alongside their day-to-day enforcement activities.
In previous years, we have published a Government response to the strategies setting out the approach we will take to the recommendations. For the latest strategies, we have instead worked closely with the Director and their office and the enforcement bodies to agree the recommendations ahead of publication of the strategies.
I thank Matthew Taylor for his contribution over the 18 months he spent in the role. I am looking forward to working with the new Director, Margaret Beels, who took up the role in November 2021. Margaret brings with her extensive industry experience, having been chair of the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) since 2011, where she led on work to tackle and prevent modern slavery and labour exploitation—and which she was honoured with an OBE for in 2020.
As we continue to support workers and root out exploitation by rogue employers, Margaret’s experience will be invaluable, and I look forward to working with her in helping to build an economy that works for all.