Government appoints first director of labour market enforcement


Sir David Metcalf has been appointed the government’s first director of labour market enforcement, tasked with overseeing initiatives and bodies that counteract exploitation in the workplace.

In this role, Metcalf will set strategic priorities for HM Revenue and Custom’s  (HMRC) National Minimum Wage enforcement team, the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, and the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate. The three agencies will centralise their intelligence for the first time, enabling Metcalfe to devise an annual strategy targeting sectors and regions which are vulnerable to unscrupulous employment practices.

Metcalf was a founding member of the Low Pay Commission and previously held the role of chairman of the Migration Advisory Committee until August 2016.

His appointment follows the announcement that the government is to invest £1.7 million in a national minimum wage and living wage awareness campaign, due to start later this month.

Metcalf said: “I’m very excited to be taking on this new role, drawing together the important work of these three labour market enforcement teams. While the UK is, by and large, a fair and safe place to work, there are still rogue employers which exploit their [employees] and undercut honest businesses. As the government has made clear, this will not go unpunished.”

Margot James, business minister, added: “Sir David’s extensive experience will be invaluable in this hugely important role to help stamp out workplace exploitation and ensure that when unscrupulous employment practices are found, justice is done for those affected.”