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Home Secretary Theresa May spoke at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) yesterday about her department’s work to crack down on “modern slavery”. Addressing a board meeting of the Gangmasters’ Licensing Authority (GLA), on which the REC sits, Ms May set out the government’s plans for an anti-modern day slavery bill to address the infiltration of the UK’s labour market by criminal gangs and human traffickers.
Speaking following the success of Operation Endeavour, Ms May stated that worker exploitation is “more common than any of us would believe”. To combat this she said the government intends to pass legislation at the end of year to consolidate trafficking offices and to appoint an Anti-Slavery Commissioner. In preparation for this the Home Secretary has asked Labour MP and social reformer Frank Fields to gather evidence on the scale of the problem.
Speaking of her intention to involved the newly formed Nation Crime Agency in the fight, Ms May conclude by saying “the world will be a better place when we win this war”.
Speaking after the meeting the REC’s chief executive Kevin Green said: “The REC has a strong relationship with the GLA and the Home Office, and a shared commitment to eradicating worker exploitation from labour supply chains… It’s important that regulators, employers and recruiters work collaboratively to create greater transparency and accountability within supply chains.”
“The REC and our members recognise the key role that our industry plays in ensuring safe recruitment practices are maintained. We will soon be issuing guidance to our members to help them identify and report issues of exploitation so this criminal activity can be eradicated once and for all,” he concluded.