The creation of a Director of Labour Market Enforcement has been welcomed by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), but the recruitment industry body also warned about unnecessary bureaucratic burdens.

Many independent professionals contracting as Umbrella Employees, who regularly rely on recruitment consultants to source new projects, will share the sentiments of REC Director of Policy Tom Hadley.

Welcoming the creation of the role of Director of Labour Market Enforcement, which was proposed in the government’s official response to its Tackling exploitation in the labour market consultation, Hadley said the new director’s key task will be ensuring “effective co-ordination and resourcing of existing inspectorates rather than starting again from scratch”.

Professional bodies such as the REC, he said, “have a vital role to play promoting and leading industry self-regulation”.

Addressing the issue of licensing, Hadley added: “Creating an unnecessary and undue bureaucratic burden for the whole recruitment industry, which helped 630,000 people find new permanent jobs last year and places over one million people into temporary assignments every single day, would be a serious mistake.”

He went on to endorse government proposals for a risk-based approach to the reform of the remit and licensing regime of the new Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority and said the REC strongly supported the expansion of both enforcement activity and intelligence gathering to eliminate trafficking and forced labour completely, irrespective of work sector.

Hadley cautioned, however, that it was not at all clear that the licensing process lay behind criminal activity and that the government needs to undertake further work in this area before pressing forward with any formal expansion of licensing.

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