We are deeply concerned by the appalling reports of illegal and unsafe working conditions for garment workers in Leicester. The Government will not tolerate the exploitation of vulnerable workers for commercial gain and is committed to taking action against those who seek to do so.
Investigations of criminal offences are the responsibility of operational law enforcement partners, who have the appropriate powers to do so. Following these allegations, the National Crime Agency have launched an investigation into these serious concerns. This has been taken forward using a partnership approach, using the expertise of several bodies, including the Health and Safety Executive, the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA), Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and Leicestershire Police.
Workers can report information or concerns about suspected labour exploitation in confidence through the telephone to the GLAA or to the Modern Slavery and Exploitation Helpline. For advice on the legal minimum wage, working hours and employment agencies, workers can call the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service helpline for free.
We have also committed to going further on state enforcement and establishing a single enforcement body for employment rights to better protect vulnerable workers and create a level playing field for the majority of employers that comply with the law.