Director of Labour Market Enforcement

Body: Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Appointing Department: Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Sectors: Business, Finance & Skills, Regulation
Location: London
Skills required: Business / Commercial
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £100,000 - £130,000 per annum (Full Time Equivalent)
Time Requirements: 1-2 days per week


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

Margaret Beels was appointed as the new Director of Labour Market Enforcement on 22 November 2021.

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement

    23/11/2021 at 08:00


Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Role

The Director of Labour Market Enforcement was created by the Immigration Act 2016 as part of the Government’s reforms to strengthen efforts to tackle non-compliance in the labour market. The role is now well established, with the post holders having published two full strategies and two annual reports. The most recent interim Director was the second person to hold this role.

The Director is responsible for producing an annual labour market enforcement strategy, which provides an assessment of the scale and nature of non-compliance in the labour market and sets out, in a single strategy, the strategic direction for the three existing labour market enforcement bodies – the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate, the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, and HMRC’s National Minimum Wage Team.

The Director is required to present the annual strategy to the Home Secretary and the Business Secretary for their approval. In addition, the Director will prepare and present to Parliament an annual report on the extent to which enforcement activity undertaken during the year has had an effect on non-compliance.

The Director’s annual strategy should build on the previous year’s work and pull together priorities for targeted action that draws on the enforcement bodies capabilities. It should provide an overarching and collaborative response to labour market enforcement across the entire spectrum of non-compliance, including modern slavery related to labour exploitation.

In preparing the strategy, the Director will also need to have a good understanding of the Government’s wider commitments in the labour market landscape and the links to modern slavery. These include those made in response to the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices and the Government’s ‘Good Work Plan’. For example, the Government has accepted the case for the state taking responsibility for enforcing a basic set of core rights (including holiday pay) for the most vulnerable workers and will also be better protecting agency workers.

The Government has also committed to establishing a new single enforcement body.  This will be a radical reform of the enforcement landscape and the Director will play an important role in advising on this change and shaping the future of labour market enforcement. They will provide significant input into the design of the new body and in managing the transition. The Director will oversee the enforcement bodies in the interim period and use the Strategy to set the direction of the transition, facilitating more joint working and working with the bodies to prepare for the change.

The Director is also responsible for running the information hub. The hub is an established but fairly new system that incorporates intelligence from and facilitates data-sharing between the three enforcement bodies. It also coordinates appropriate data from other statutory bodies involved in the labour market to help develop a more comprehensive view of the nature of non-compliance. The hub is a key resource and provides the evidence and basis for the Director to determine the priorities set out in the strategy and also helps in assessing the level of ‘hidden’ non-compliance and an overarching view of risk. The Information Hub also has a research function, which gathers wider research and information from across academia and wider sources, including internationally, looking at data and analysis across disciplines to build a picture of current knowledge on the scale and nature of non-compliance and what works in enforcement. This function of the Hub also commissions the Director’s research programme.

The Director will maintain and manage the strong relationships that have been built with the heads of the three enforcement bodies, to ensure a coordinated approach to enforcement work. The Director will not have executive responsibilities or accountability for the running of the bodies (this will remain with the heads of each enforcement body) but will drive and catalyse change where needed in order to deliver the strategy, and will play a key role in   preparing for the transition to a single agency. They will also liaise closely with stakeholders, including employers, labour providers, trades unions and NGOs, to understand labour market practices and issues. They will have a role in promoting compliance across the labour market.

In undertaking this work, the Director will have support from a small office made up of policy officials and analysts.

Person Specification

The Director of Labour Market Enforcement will have a strong strategic understanding of the labour market and awareness of developments in policy with the ability to operate within an enforcement or operational environment. They will have the ability to bring together and analyse a wide range of evidence and intelligence to develop a coherent overarching strategy right across the spectrum of non-compliance. They will be responsible for running an intelligence hub, assessing the scale and nature of labour market non-compliance and setting the strategic direction of the existing enforcement bodies. They will be able to work with a wide range of stakeholders, including the enforcement bodies, Ministers, Parliament, business, trade bodies, worker representatives and charitable organisations. They will also ideally have an understanding of the UK labour market, including the risks and drivers within industry (including the recruitment sector) that can lead to breaches of labour market law, and understand hidden non-compliance and the best routes to increase compliance.

Essential criteria

The Director should bring operational experience from an enforcement, regulatory or investigatory background and be able to demonstrate the skills and experience to:

  • develop a strong and credible relationship with Ministers, senior officials, the three current labour market enforcement bodies, business and NGOs;
  • bring together a number of distinct bodies, harnessing best practice and balancing trade-offs to propose operational strategies and priorities and build on successes;
  • drive change and improvement in the delivery of enforcement work in a politically charged environment and advise on more radical reforms;
  • identify and encourage appropriate action by a wider range of bodies, including the police and local authorities, to address offending behaviour by rogue businesses;
  • analyse complex issues and assess evidence and intelligence to develop an overarching evidence base from which to set strategic priorities.

Desirable criteria

The Director would ideally also be able to offer experience of some of the following:

  • leading on intelligence, economic or analytical functions;
  • working in an operational environment; and
  • analysing operational performance and making judgements that inform recommendations for future work and activity.

Additional Information

Please tailor your application to show how you meet the criteria listed. You should set out in your suitability for the role and how you meet the essential and desirable criteria set out in the person specification.

If you are shortlisted, due diligence will be carried out and your referees are likely to be contacted.

You will be asked to prepare some identification documents if you are invited to an interview – further information will be provided closer to the time.

Interviews are likely to be held remotely through Microsoft Teams.

How to Apply

For us to progress your application, you must submit both of the following documents before 11pm on 7 March 2021. You must submit:

  • a curriculum vitae; and
  • a supporting statement

by email, with the subject “Director of Labour Market Enforcement” to

If you do not submit both a curriculum vitae and a supporting statement by 11pm on 7 March 2021, your application will not be progressed any further. Late applications will not be accepted.

You should also complete our diversity monitoring form online here.

If you have any queries regarding the application process, please contact Sophie Austin at

DLME-Candidate-Pack February 2021
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