Labour to table amendments to the Immigration Bill to tackle exploitation in the labour market and address problems with border controls and enforcement
The Government’s Immigration Bill is doing nothing to tackle exploitation in the labour market and nothing to address problems with border control and enforcement.
Labour will today put forward major amendments to the Immigration Bill in both areas.
Labour’s plans include:
• Making it illegal for recruitment agencies to only target and recruit foreign workers.
• Making it illegal for employers to deliberately run shifts only for foreign workers or segregate shifts by nationality.
• An increased civil penalty of up to £50,000 for not paying National Minimum Wage and exploiting to undercut.
• Trebling the fine to £30,000 for illegally employing foreign workers and introduce a statutory minimum fine of £10,000.
• A requirement that every large firm hiring a migrant worker from outside the EU has to offer an apprenticeship in return.
Labour will also set out sensible measures to prevent illegal immigration - in contrast to the divisive gimmicks and incompetence of Tory Ad Vans and text messages.
Labour’s plans are the first serious attempt by any party to deal with some of the problems created by European migration - and the exploitation of migration to undermine local wages and jobs.
The amendments form part of Labour’s continued determination to debate public concerns about immigration, and to put forward a sensible and distinctive approach.
Yvette Cooper MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, said:
"The Government is failing to address the exploitation of low-skilled immigration in the labour market. Nor do they have any serious strategy for tackling illegal immigration.
“That’s why we are setting out sensible and practical policies, instead of the Tory-led Government approach of resorting to ineffective and offensive Ad Vans, gimmicks or incorrect text messages to people who have lived here for 30 years.
"At a time when there is real pressure from a cost of living crisis, people are really concerned that low-skilled immigration is being exploited to undercut wages.
"We need a system that is fair for all and a labour market that works for all. That’s why we need practical measures to close loopholes in the minimum wage, or deal with agencies recruiting only from abroad, or gangmasters exploiting illegal labour.
"And we need more sensible measures to address illegal immigration. The Government is doing little to deal with problems at border control which have been getting worse, with fewer people stopped at the border, and more absconding.
"The Tories set out to play divide and rule, but they have been left with a net migration target nobody trusts, falling levels of confidence and increased public concern."