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Director of Labour Market Enforcement Interim Annual Strategy 2022-23

Volume 729: debated on Thursday 16 March 2023

Alongside my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business (Kevin Hollinrake), I am today publishing the “Labour Market Enforcement Annual Strategy for 2022-23”, submitted by the DLME Margaret Beels OBE. The strategy will be available on

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;

His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs National Minimum and Living Wage enforcement team; and

The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority.

Under section 2 of the Act, the Director of Labour Market Enforcement is required 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. The annual strategy, once approved, is laid before Parliament.

In line with the obligations under the Act, Margaret Beels submitted a labour market enforcement strategy for 2022-23 in March 2022.

The director is a statutory office-holder with a degree of independence from Government, and is accountable to the BEIS Secretary of State and the Home Secretary. In agreement with sponsor Departments, the director decided to submit what she describes as an interim strategy ahead of a more comprehensive 2023-24 annual strategy, to enable the three enforcement bodies and sponsor Departments to continue to focus on work to address the recommendations in previous strategies, 2020-21 and 2021-22, published in December 2021.

This interim strategy provides an assessment of the scale and nature of non-compliance and focuses on the emerging threats posed by the dynamics of the shifting labour market. It consolidates existing themes from previous recommendations, highlights where the enforcement bodies and sponsor Departments should be focusing their efforts and sets out four priority areas, which include:

Improving the radar picture,

Improving focus and effectiveness,

Better joined up thinking,

Engagement and support.

We believe the enforcement bodies have been funded sufficiently to deliver the activities set out in the strategy. The DLME carried out stakeholder engagement for the 2022-23 strategy with the enforcement bodies prior to submission.

In previous years, we have published a Government response to the strategy setting out the approach we will take to the recommendations. For the latest strategy, we have instead worked closely with the director and their office and the enforcement bodies to agree the recommendations ahead of publication of the strategy.

We look forward to receiving the director’s 2023-24 annual strategy and a summary of the results of the director’s call for evidence to better understand the changing nature of the labour market.