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Clause 2 - Labour market enforcement strategy

Part of Immigration Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:30 am on 27th October 2015.

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Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Shadow Minister (Home Office) 10:30 am, 27th October 2015

Yes, I thank my hon. Friend for his contribution. I will come later to where the director will put his or her emphasis—on what might be called the higher end breaches, or on more routine breaches. I welcome that contribution and I ask the Minister to deal with it if he can in his comments.

Amendment 59 is intended to clarify the relationship between the director of labour market enforcement and the UK’s existing labour inspection agencies, ensuring  that the current role, remit and resources of labour inspectorates are safeguarded. By way of background, I give an example, because practical realities follow from what we hope is a very good initiative. This year we saw the pay and work rights helpline merge with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. The pay and work rights helpline used to provide vital advice; it was a service with an annual cost of £500,000, yet, when it was merged, the money did not go with it, which has led to a strain on the service. As a result, ACAS struggles to meet extra demand with no extra resources. There is some evidence that representatives have been asked not to use it. By making explicit the resource implications in the strategy, we hope to avoid this sort of implication. Where there is a merger of various functions and enforcement without the resources, it becomes ineffective.