The government’s director of labour market enforcement has issued a consultation document calling for evidence about the risks of worker exploitation in the UK labour market.

In particular, the director is interested in:

  • Receiving evidence about the scale and nature of the labour non-compliance threat, including whether it varies across different regions of the UK.
  • Learning about the challenges in terms of compliance and enforcement for the three enforcement bodies under the labour market enforcement remit. That is, the HMRC National Minimum Wage/National Living Wage, the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority and the Employment Agency Standards.
  • Hearing views and ideas on how some of these challenges might be overcome.

The call for evidence asks consultees to focus on the following issues:

  • Recent changes in how the UK labour market is operating particularly since the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, changes in employment status (such as the shift away from self-employment following IR35 rule changes) and increases in job vacancies.
  • The experience of people engaged in or available for work in a specific geographical location or particular firm or industry sector as a result of changes to that labour market, including immigration rules.
  • Evidence of how workers gain understanding and enforce their employment rights, particularly in relation to harder to reach workers.
  • The effectiveness or otherwise of initiatives supported by enforcement bodies, such as the National Minimum Wage Naming Scheme.
  • Changes to recruitment patterns and practices.
  • The extent to which newer models of employment (for example gig economy workers) are associated with worker exploitation.
  • Examples of best practice that address labour market non-compliance.

The deadline for submission of views is 31 May 2022, after which the director aims to deliver her Labour Market Enforcement Strategy for 2023 to 2024 to government in autumn 2022.

To read the document in full, click here.