FLEX response to Government's consultation on tackling exploitation in the labour market

December, 2015

In this document FLEX responds the the Government's consultation on tackling exploitation in the labour market.  This consultation proposes an expanded role for key UK labour inspection agencies, proposing extra powers of criminal investigation for the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) and for labour inspection priorities to alter according to an annual strategy proposed by a new Director of Labour Market Enforcement.  The consultation also proposes a shift away from licensing towards voluntary schemes. In this response, FLEX warns that threats to the GLA licensing and license monitoring functions should be resisted and that increasing criminal powers of the GLA could distract from these core licensing and monitoring functions.  FLEX notes that the UK has one of the weakest labour inspectorates in Europe and is proposing weakening it further through by asking it to do more with less resources.