Director of Labour Market Enforcement Sir David Metcalf is overseeing a government crackdown on exploitation in the workplace.
Sir David has highlighted construction as a problem sector for HMRC’s National Minimum Wage (NMW) enforcement team, the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA), and the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate (EAS).
He said: “Tackling labour market abuses is an important priority for the government and I am encouraged it has committed record funds to cracking down on exploitation.
“Over the coming months I will be working with government enforcement agencies and industry bodies to better identify and punish the most serious and repeat offenders taking advantage of vulnerable workers and honest businesses.”
Latest National Minimum and Living Wage enforcement statistics show in 2016/17 HMRC’s enforcement teams identified a record £10.9m in back pay for 98,150 of the UK’s lowest paid workers – a 69% increase on those helped last year.
Businesses who failed to pay workers at least the legal minimum wage were also fined £3.9m.
Business Minister Margot James said: “This government is firmly on the side of hard-working people and we are determined to stamp out any workplace exploitation, from minimum wage abuses to modern slavery.
“While the majority of employers create a fair and safe environment for their workers, there are a small minority of rogue employers who break the law and we will use all enforcement measures at our disposal to crack down on labour market abuses.”