Construction minister Nigel Griffiths has acknowledged the need for a crackdown on illegal gangmasters in construction.
Speaking at this week’s UCATT conference in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, he said the government intended to strengthen the law to make it harder for employers to

take on illegal workers using false documents.

He said last year the immigration service had carried out 446 enforcement operations over illegal working, but added: “When there are 19 Chinese migrant workers drowning in Morecambe Bay, I tell you we are still not doing enough.”

Griffiths said chancellor Gordon Brown and the rest of the Treasury team were determined to tackle bogus self-employment.

Griffiths added that employers must be forced to take full responsibility for deaths on sites. He said: “I will not rest until not one person is killed in construction.”

  • George Brumwell, the general secretary of UCATT, called on the government to legislate to clamp down on false self-employment in construction.