In May 2022, the Modern Slavery PEC responded to the Director of Labour Market Enforcement (DLME) call for evidence on the Labour Market Enforcement Strategy 2023 to 2024.
The submission addressed specific questions from the call for evidence for which the Modern Slavery PEC has published relevant research or policy briefs. Key points include:
- Evidence from our PEC Policy Brief that the Covid-19 pandemic increased vulnerability to all forms of modern slavery, including forced labour, across the world and in the UK.
- Findings from a Modern Slavery PEC-funded research project on the experiences of Romanian and Bulgarian workers in the UK agriculture industry during the Covid-19 pandemic, which demonstrated increased vulnerability to exploitation during the pandemic, levels of knowledge of workers’ rights and barriers to reporting issues in the workplace.
We encourage the DLME to consider the following points for the Strategy:
- Meaningfully involving people affected by labour market non-compliance issues in the development of the Strategy.
- Setting out how the DLME and labour market enforcement agencies will work in partnership with wider organisations such as civil society, trade unions and researchers, to deliver the Strategy’s objectives.
- Setting out effectiveness measures for the Strategy i.e. the impacts that will arise from the Strategy’s objectives, building on the DLME-commissioned study into the scale and nature of non-compliance in the labour market.
Members of the Modern Slavery PEC core team meet staff from the Office of the Director of Labour Market Enforcement regularly to discuss relevant Modern Slavery PEC evidence, and we will continue this engagement as the Director develops the labour market enforcement strategy.