First Director of Labour Market Enforcement named

09 January 2017

Sir David Metcalf has been named as the first Director of Labour Market Enforcement to oversee a government crackdown on exploitation in the workplace.

Sir David, who was chairman of the Migration Advisory Committee until August 2016, will set the strategic priorities for the:

  • Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority
  • Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate
  • National Minimum Wage enforcement team (HMRC).

For the first time, the 3 agencies are centralising their intelligence, enabling the director to draw up an annual strategy targeting sectors and regions which are vulnerable to unscrupulous employment practices. He is also working alongside the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner to better tackle exploitation and slavery in the labour market.

The announcement comes ahead of the launch of a £1.7 million national minimum and living wage awareness raising campaign later this month. It will help make sure the UK’s lowest paid workers receive the correct rates of pay when they increase on 1 April 2017 and know what steps to take if they do not.

Sir David’s role will complement the world-leading action already taken by the government to tackle modern slavery including new powers for law enforcement agencies, increased support and protection for victims and the groundbreaking work to ensure transparency in supply chains.

The announcement comes weeks after labour market enforcement undertakings and orders came into force on 25 November 2016 under the Immigration Act ,which can ultimately lead to criminal prosecutions and prison sentences of up to 2 years for businesses which mistreat their workers.

Last month the Chancellor also unveiled an extra £4.3 million a year in funding for national minimum and living wage enforcement, taking the government’s total spend to £25.3 million for next year.