Exploitation of low-paid workers by rogue employment agencies will be stamped out by an incoming Labour government, Ed Miliband will promise today.
The Labour leader will commit himself to closing the loophole which allows agencies to undercut the wages of permanent staff, and to put those which flout the law out of business. Numbers of agency staff have risen in the last year to at least a million.
Mr Miliband will reiterate Labour’s commitment to banning agencies from only recruiting overseas.
He will accuse the Government of wanting Britain to “compete in a race to the bottom with low wages, low skills and less security”.
Labour will not tolerate “a world of work that is becoming more brutal because of the way some cowboy employment agencies have been allowed to operate”, Mr Miliband will say. “There is now overwhelming evidence that some are operating in the shadows of our economy and on the margins of law, damaging the basic fabric of British life that hard work should be properly paid. They are breaking the law on the minimum wage, failing to pay their taxes and exploiting workers to undercut the wages of permanent staff. These rogue agencies need to know their time is up and we will act.”
He will add that Labour is considering a licensing system which would stipulate basic standards of contracts for employees and have the power to shut down agencies which refuse to comply.Reuse content