Friday, 2 September 2011

Last chance to save rights of migrant domestic workers

The Government Consultation containing the disasterous proposals for migrant domestic workers closes next week on the 9th September

To remove the visa altogether as proposed would only deter good employers. Employers prepared to break the law in their employment practises are unlikely to hesitate at bringing domestic workers on family or visit visas. Once here on these visas domestic workers would have no rights in the UK and would be working in breach of their immigration conditions.

The other proposed option is for workers to enter on a 6 or 12 month, non renewable visa. On this visa they would not be permitted to change employer, no matter what their treatment, nor would they be protected by UK labour laws. It is not clear what would they would be expected to do once their visa expired as many have been recruited from a third country, to which they would have no right of return without their employer. To return to their country would not be out of the question for many domestic workers who have debts incurred while securing their overseas job. It seems likely that workers would not only be severely exploited on this visa but that employers would encourage (or force) them to stay on in the UK once their visa had expired.

Please respond raising your concerns at the removal of a visa which works well to protect some of the most vulnerable workers in the UK. An online response can be submitted directly here