Preventing Workplace Exploitation

A BLOG POST BY JOANNA EWART-JAMESJune 11 Anti-slavery international Supply Chain Programme Co-ordinator, Anti-Slavery International

The Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) has proven to be an effective mechanism for preventing the exploitation of temporary workers in agriculture, forestry, horticulture, shellfish gathering, food and drink processing and packaging. However in other industries - particularly in hospitality, care and construction - enforcement of workplace regulations and employment law remains patchy and the exploitation of vulnerable workers by rogue employment agencies is still evident.

A coalition led by Anti-Slavery International and the Institute for Human Rights and Business have put forward a proposal for the merging of the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate into the GLA and for both bodies to be run under the GLA’s current management and intelligence-led operational processes. This would provide a level, competitive playing field for business, reduce regulatory burdens and exchequer fraud and offer greater protection for vulnerable workers through intelligence led, proportionate enforcement action.

As the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills conducts a review into better workplace rights enforcement, Lord Harries of Pentregarth will be holding an event on 11th July at the Palace of Westminster to consider the significant achievements of the GLA and asking how policy-makers can protect vulnerable workers from exploitative labour brokers.

For more information on the proposal or if you would like to attend, please email Neill Wilkins at The Institute for Human Rights and Business

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