Strong rules protect our rights in the workplace

Everyone deserves to be treated fairly at work. Whether it’s time off to look after our families, freedom from discrimination, or fair wages, there are rules in place to protect us all. But employers don’t always play by the book.

It’s up to public protection teams to enforce the rules and prevent forced labour, discrimination at work, trafficking, or breaches of the national minimum wage. But cuts to public bodies are making it more and more difficult for them to carry out their work. Left unchecked, bosses are free to cut corners and exploit their staff.

Join our campaign and stand up for the public protection teams who make sure we’re treated fairly at work.

Join the campaign

Cuts are making it harder to enforce the rules that stop exploitation

The public bodies responsible for protecting workers include the Gangmaster and Labour Abuse Authority, the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate, and the Equality and Human Rights Commission. HMRC is responsible for collection of taxes and overseeing the national minimum wage.

Each of these agencies has been subject to huge funding cuts over the last nine years, making it more difficult to protect us at work.

  • Employers can expect a visit from HMRC’s national minimum wage inspectors once every 500 years.

  • In the UK, there is now just one labour market inspector per 20,000 workers

See more of our research

Your stories


Rodney Sharpe delivered daily and Sunday papers on a 21-mile round in Maidenhead for Midcounties Co-op for over two decades.


"As I discovered while working for Uber, life behind the wheel can become a blur of endless traffic, enduring fatigue and relationships strained by absence."


"I was a picker, taking items from the shelves in the warehouse. Our speed was timed, and if you were slow you got a strike."


"At 16, I was finishing school in Poland and was in a new relationship with a guy who was a couple of years older than me."


"I never thought that this would be a label that ever applied to me – a modern day slave."


In his home town of in the Czech Republic, Jan struck up a relationship with a girl. Unknown to him, the girl was a family member of a trafficking ring in Plymouth.

Help us stand up for strong workplace protections and the public bodies that enforce them

Join the campaign