Ex-migration chief recruited to crack down on workplace exploitation

Mark Sands
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Metcalf chaired the Migration Advisory Committee from its launch in 2007 (Source: Getty)

The former chair of one of an independent migration watchdog has been recruited to lead a government crackdown on exploitation of workers.

Sir David Metcalf has sat on the Migration Advisory Committee since its creation in 2007, and will now serve as the first director of labour market enforcement.

Metcalf, who was also a founding member of the low pay commission, will oversee a work on exploitation in the workplace, tackling minimum wage violations and unscrupulous employment agencies.

The government will also launch a £1.7m national minimum and living wage awareness campaign later this month.

Read More: Fifth of workers paid less than recommended living wage

Announcing the appointment, business minister Margot James said: “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.

Since 2013, the government has named and shamed almost 700 employers failing tp pay the national minimum or living wage, and last month, new reforms came into effect allowing rogue employers to be handed two years in prison for serious or repeat offences.

It comes after months of scrutiny on the retail sector, with MPs grilling retailers like Sports Direct over concerns their staff are being treated unfairly.

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