Labour calls for action to stop exploitation of immigrant workers

Labour has called for urgent action to stop exploitation of immigrant workers.

The party accused Tories and Lib Dems of failing to tackle exploitation and undercutting including blocking reforms to the Posted Workers Directive.

It also accused Tories and Lib Dems of refusing to reform the Agency Workers Directive, making it easier to sack new workers, and presiding over a massive increase in zero hours contracts.

Labour warned that UKIP would make it even worse by cutting employment protection, and pulling out of the social chapter, and making it easier for agencies and employers to exploit migrant labour.

Tory and Lib Dem failure to act on the impact of immigration, Labour said, is increasing public concern about immigration and making it possible for UKIP to play on people’s fears.

Labour’s proposals to stop exploitation include strengthening the posted workers directive, closing the loophole in the agency workers directive, stopping abuse of zero hours contracts, stopping agencies only recruiting from abroad, making exploitation a criminal offence and increasing enforcement.

"We’re calling for reforms in Europe to deal with immigration concerns,” Yvette Cooper, Shadow Home Secretary, said. "The Tories and Liberal Democrats are doing nothing to stop employers exploiting cheap migrant labour to undercut local wages and jobs. And UKIP would make it worse by taking away employment rights.”

Ms Cooper said there was need of reforms across Europe as well as stronger action in Britain to prevent companies exploiting immigration.

"People are concerned about immigration. And unless the Government takes action against dodgy employers and agencies who exploit immigration to undercut jobs and wages, those concerns are going to get worse,” Ms Cooper said. “The Government needs to address the impact of immigration, or UKIP will be able to keep playing on people’s fears.  We need practical solutions to the concerns people have about their jobs and wages. And we need to challenge UKIP’s nasty and divisive approach because they don’t have the answers Britain needs."

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