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Conditions of Employment and Health and Safety

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 145031, tabled on 28 January 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many investigations were carried out by the (a) Employment Standards Agency Inspectorate, (b) HMRC National Minimum Wage Enforcement Team, (c) Health and Safety Executive and (d) the Gangmaster Labour Abuse Authority for the yearly reporting period 2019-20.

Answered on

2 February 2021

Please see responses to each request for information in the table below:


Number of workplace inspections in 2019/20[1]

Number of investigations in 2019/20

Number of frontline enforcement officers in 2019/20

Classification of issues in 2019/20

Employment Agency Standards




Non-payment or withholding earnings, being charged to find work, contractual disputes, lack of clarity of deductions, advertising of roles, and failure to obtain either sufficient information from a hiring company or work-seeker.

HMRC National Minimum Wage




Non-payment of national minimum wage

Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority

214 inspections of applicants for licenses and licence holders[5] 390 investigation cases[6]



Civil cases- compliance with the GLAA licensing standards relating to relevant UK legislation governing the workplace and employer/worker relationships, forced labour, and employer responsibilities to Government - Criminal cases: offences committed against the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004, being unlicensed, using workers from unlicensed gangmasters, or the wider labour market offences including Modern Slavery.

Health and Safety Executive

13, 402


980 (inc 498 Band 3 and 4 inspectors[8])

The Health and Safety Executive handled over 32,000 complaints for the yearly reporting period 2019-20 but HSE does not record the subject matter of the complaint.

[1] The enforcement bodies may take different approaches to workplace inspections and investigations depending on the type of offence being investigated.

[2] Number of complaints investigated.

[3] This number includes employer interview which could be in person or via phone or letter. HMRC triage cases to decide the type of intervention dependent on the level of risk of the case. Workplace inspections are not always appropriate as payroll records may be with agents or payroll providers.

[4] Number of investigations closed in 2019/20. Some investigations may have begun earlier.

[5] The number therefore relates to the number of cases, and not individual workplaces. In such civil inspections there may be a number of visits to premises where workers are supplied to.

[6] These related to investigations against Gangmasters (licensing) Act offences as well as cases involving other labour market offences, for which the GLAA exercises a wider authority in England and Wales. Those offences are defined in section 3(3) of the Immigration Act 2016, and include forced labour offences under the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

[7] Investigations of fatal and non-fatal incidents reported under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013.

[8] Band 3 and 4 inspectors undertake the delivery of the operational division workplans, this includes inspections and investigations into reported incidents and concerns and where non-compliance with health and safety legislations is identified, the inspectors take regulatory action in accordance with our published Enforcement Policy Statement.

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