Tougher enforcement action and stronger penalties for unscrupulous employers

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Tougher enforcement action and stronger penalties for unscrupulous employers

September 6, 2019

The government announced “The Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) will today become part of the Home Office in a move which will strengthen its enforcement and intelligence capabilities, putting it directly alongside the National Crime Agency’s (NCA) considerable resources to tackle the highest harm offenders. The GLA will have expert support from the NCA’s intelligence hub which provides a single picture of all the threats from serious and economic crime. It will also be able to tap into the resources and reach of the NCA’s 4,500 officers and its international presence in 40 countries, through national tasking and co-ordination mechanisms. The NCA has recently secured agreements with Afghanistan and Greece to tackle the movement of trafficked people, and is engaged in operations to disrupt organised crime groups involved in the illegal exploitation of workers”

This is in parallel to the Immigration Bill going through Parliament and other initiatives to tackle illegal working and recruitment where:

  • The fines increase from £10,000 per illegal worker will be increased to £20,000 per illegal worker from the start of May 2014
  • Fines for employers who pay below the minimum wage are being increased from £5,000 to £20,000 per individual underpaid worker through primary legislation being introduced shortly
  • Next month will increase the penalties for rogue landlords who house workers illegally and a range of housing related sanctions to an unlimited fine.
  • The provisions in the Immigration Bill will make it harder for illegal workers to stay in the UK;  powers in the Bill will ensure that landlords check the immigration status of their tenants; and will prohibit illegal immigrants from holding driving licences or bank accounts.

Prime Minister David Cameron said “A key part of our long-term plan is making sure our economy delivers for people who do the right thing,  so everyone who wants to work hard can get on in life.”

“The changes we are making today will help stop practices which exploit vulnerable workers and undercut local businesses that play by the rules. They will give workers in Britain a fair crack of the whip when it comes to getting a job themselves. That means more economic security for people across our country.”

CEO of the REC, Kevin Green called the changes “sensible”. “Recruiters have millions of people walking through their doors looking for work every day, ” he said. “Whether those people are UK nationals or EU migrants is secondary to the ultimate goal of getting the right people into the right job at the right time.” As reported by HRmagazine here

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