Following a government consultation in 2015, the Immigration Bill 2015 received Royal Assent on 12th May 2016 and has now become the Immigration Act 2016 (“the Act”). The Act criminalises those who do not have the right to work in the UK but intend to secure employment, and contains measures to prevent illegal migrants in the UK from accessing housing, driving licences and bank accounts.
The Act comes into force on 1st October 2016 and will also significantly extend the investigative powers of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) to different labour sectors (chosen by the new Director of Labour Market Enforcement) in order to more effectively tackle labour exploitation across the economy. Lawspeed expects that this may include the recruitment sector and advises recruitment businesses to watch this space.
The significant changes to the way the GLA operates proposed by the Act tally up nicely with the government’s commitment to combatting modern slavery and the obligations under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (click here for our previous article). In addition, the GLA has now been renamed the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) and given greater powers under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 such as the ability to enter and search premises with a warrant. It has been reported that in practice this means that the GLAA is moving towards a labour market wide inspectorate with extra police powers by 1st October 2016.
Lawspeed can help with advice on the changes to how the GLAA operates, Modern Slavery Audits, drafting internal and external policies and suitable templates to assist your compliance. If you have a burning question about this topic please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone me on 01273 236236. For those of you that are ARC members don’t forget that you can get in touch via the ARC helpline.