Yesterday (12/05/2016) the Immigration Bill received Royal Assent and became the Immigration Act 2016. The Act includes measures announced in the Government response to the joint BIS/Home Office consultation on ‘Tackling Exploitation in the Labour Market’ which was published on 12 January 2016. The measures are as follows:
- Create the role of Director of Labour Market Enforcement to set the strategic priorities for labour market enforcement bodies (the Employment Agencies Standard Inspectorate, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs’ National Minimum Wage team and the Gangmasters Licensing Authority) in an annual labour market enforcement strategy
- Create an intelligence hub to support the work of the Director
- Allow data sharing between the Director, the Intelligence Hub, labour market enforcement bodies and other bodies with intelligence that inform the preparation of the labour market enforcement strategy
- Create a new labour market undertaking and enforcement order regime, backed up by a criminal offence and custodial sentence – to allow us to tackle repeat labour market offenders and rogue businesses; and
- Reform the Gangmasters Licensing Authority to become the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority with a broader remit and stronger powers to tackle labour exploitation across the economy.
The Government has indicated that it intends to begin the appointment process for the Director of Labour Market enforcement shortly. A full implementation timetable will follow in due course.