• Government to step up work to ensure workplaces are “fair and safe” 
  • Efforts to be increased around ensuring employers pay minimum wage
  • Sir David Metcalf named first director of Labour Market Enforcement

The government is ramping up the pressure on “rogue” employers with a new crackdown on “unscrupulous” practices.

A new director of labour market enforcement has been appointed today to oversee the crackdown, which includes harsher punishment for failing to pay the minimum wage.

Sir David Metcalf, a former adviser to Downing Street on migration, has taken up the role.

He will set the priorities for the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate and HMRC’s national minimum wage enforcement team.

It comes as new powers have come in which mean employers face up to two years in prison for “serious or repeat labour market offences”, including failing to pay the minimum wage.

Prime Minister Theresa May has spoken out against exploitation in the workplace after piloting the Modern Slavery Act through parliament as Home Secretary.

Sir David said: “While the UK is by and large a fair and safe place to work, there are still rogue employers who exploit their workers and undercut honest businesses. As the Government has made clear, this will not go unpunished.”

The Government is also set to launch a new £1.7 million national minimum and living wage awareness raising campaign later this month. The national living wage rises to £7.50 for over 25s from April 1.