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Written Statements

Volume 640: debated on Wednesday 9 May 2018

Written Statements

Wednesday 9 May 2018

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Business Update

Under section 2 of the Immigration Act 2016 the Director of Labour Market Enforcement is required to prepare an annual strategy which, once approved, must be laid before Parliament.

The Director of Labour Market Enforcement is a statutory appointment under the Immigration Act 2016. The Director is responsible for setting the strategic priorities of the three existing enforcement agencies. These are the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate, and HMRC’s National Minimum Wage Enforcement team.

Professor Sir David Metcalf CBE was appointed as the Director on 1 January 2017. Sir David’s introductory independent labour market enforcement strategy was published in July 2017 and today this second strategy is being published. This strategy provides a valuable assessment of the existing scale of labour exploitation and makes 37 recommendations on labour market enforcement and raising awareness of employment rights.

There is significant crossover and alignment between this strategy and the Government’s response to the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices and subsequent consultations. The Government will publish a response to the Director of Labour Market Enforcement’s strategy later this year, once the consultations have closed and the Government have considered the responses.

The Government’s Good Work plan is a vital part of the industrial strategy, the long-term plan to build a Britain fit for the future by helping businesses create better, higher-paying jobs in every part of the UK.

I would like to place on record my thanks to Sir David and his team for the hard work that has gone into this second strategy.

Copies of the strategy have been laid before both Houses.


Housing, Communities and Local Government

Housing First

Today, the Government are launching three Housing First pilots in Greater Manchester, the west midlands, and the Liverpool City Region. The programme will total £28 million of Government funding and include a robust external evaluation. The funding allocated to each region is as follows, and is based on the number of rough sleepers, or those at risk of rough sleeping who we think would benefit from a Housing First approach:

Greater Manchester: £8.0 million

Liverpool City Region: £7.7 million

West Midlands: £9.6 million

The pilots will support circa 1,000 rough sleepers and those at risk of rough sleeping with the most complex needs to help them to end their homelessness. People will be provided with stable, affordable accommodation and intensive wrap-around support. This will help them to recover from complex issues, such as substance abuse and mental health difficulties, and sustain their tenancies.

There is a growing body of international evidence supporting a Housing First approach as a way to ending rough sleeping, but to date this has not been rigorously evaluated on a large scale in the UK. Today’s announcement is a demonstration of this Government’s support for evidence-based approaches that have the potential to radically improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our society. The Government will carefully consider the evidence that is gathered to inform any expansion of Housing First.

Piloting Housing First gives effect to a manifesto commitment and is an important element of the Government’s effort to end rough sleeping by 2027. It will build on the implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act, and the new rough sleeping initiative my predecessor announced on 30 March. The Government will bring forward a rough sleeping strategy in July that sets out how we intend to first halve and then end rough sleeping in 2022 and 2027.