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FLEX welcomes new Director of Labour Market Enforcement

January 5, 2017

Leading experts on labour exploitation, Focus on Labour Exploitation, today welcome the appointment of Prof. Sir David Metcalf CBE as the UK’s first Director of Labour Market Enforcement. FLEX supports the appointment of a candidate with strong grounding in the challenges faced by low paid and vulnerable workers in the UK. FLEX also welcomes Sir David’s strong experience engaging charities, trade unions and migrant community representatives in his work at both the Migration Advisory Committee and the Low Pay Commission.

FLEX looks forward to a fruitful relationship with Sir David and his office to address our common priorities, namely:

  1. Seeking a means for UK labour inspectors to truly reach abused workers, helping them access the information and redress they need;
  2. Applying the lessons of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority to the whole labour market through the work of the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority; and
  3. Assessing the impact of the offence of illegal working and other recent ‘hostile immigration’ measures on vulnerable workers and labour abuses.

FLEX has consistently called for more proactive labour inspections and adequate resources that enable inspectorates to prevent exploitation to protect low paid and vulnerable workers. Labour inspection is key in the prevention of trafficking for labour exploitation and forced labour.

Notes to Editors

1. Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX) works to end trafficking for labour exploitation. To achieve this FLEX promotes responses to trafficking for labour exploitation that are rights-based, victim-centred and founded on prevention rather than cure. See

2. For more information on proactive labour inspections read FLEX’s policy blueprint Combatting Labour Exploitation through Labour Inspection.