A Labour government would create laws to stop bosses using migrants to under-cut the wages of British workers, and the “serious exploitation” of migrants by businesses would be made a criminal offence, she will say.
Miss Cooper will also attack the Government for having a “worst of all worlds” stance, in which illegal immigration is getting worse while businesses are unable to find people with the skills they need.
Last month, James Brokenshire, the immigration minister, accused better-off families and big businesses of helping to support mass immigration by demanding cheap labour and services. Miss Cooper will say: “This kind of exploitation should be illegal. But the law isn’t working. We need change.
“The truth is that, for too long, exploitation in the labour market – a cause and effect of low-skilled immigration and illegal immigration – has gone unchecked.
“But we want to go further. We want clearer, stronger laws so businesses know where they stand and responsible employers know they won’t be undercut, but so that it is clear that employers who use pressure or force to exploit people and get round employment law are committing a crime.” Her words come as Labour announce a nationwide consultation with businesses, trade unions, communities and workers into the laws around exploitation and undercutting of wages.
Miss Cooper will also use her speech at the Local Government Association in Westminster to commit to proper exit checks as part of UK border policy as well as fingerprinting illegal immigrants caught at the border.
The shadow home secretary will also admit that the last Labour government “got things wrong on immigration”.
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Got things wrong? Nice of you to admit it now, after it is too late.