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Vulnerable domestic workers must be protected by the Modern Slavery Bill, says TUC

Ahead of the Modern Slavery Bill which is due to be debated today (Wednesday) in the House of Lords, the TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“This bill is an important piece of legislation in the fight against trafficking and forced labour.

“The TUC supports the bill but calls on the House of Lords to provide greater protection to overseas domestic staff working in this country. These workers accompany their employers, who have themselves migrated to the UK. Often without family and friends, these workers can be isolated in their employers’ house and are very vulnerable. All too many are subjected to abuse.

“In the past, overseas domestic workers were allowed to change their employers’ name on their visa, to give them an escape route from abusive employers. The coalition government removed this protection. We believe that this right needs to be reinstated, and urge the House of Lords to vote to do so.”

NOTES TO EDITORS:

- Overseas Domestic Workers include cleaners, chauffeurs, cooks and nannies. Currently Overseas Domestic Workers are eligible for a UK visa if they accompany their employer, but for a maximum of six months. The Joint Parliamentary Committee that studied the Modern Slavery Bill suggested that it should include a section which would reinstate the Overseas Domestic Workers’ visa.

- The TUC is organising Fair Pay Fortnight 2015 between Monday 16 February and Sunday 1 March. The Fortnight is part of the TUC’s Britain Needs a Pay Rise campaign and will feature a series of events across England and Wales to raise awareness about low pay, pay inequality and the need for higher pay settlements in the public and private sector. For more information please visit www.fairpayfortnight.org

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk
- Follow the TUC on Twitter: @tucnews

Contacts:

Media enquiries:

Clare Santry  T: 020 7467 1372  M: 07717 531150  E: csantry@tuc.org.uk
Alex Rossiter  T: 020 7467 1285  M: 07887 572130  E: arossiter@tuc.org.uk
Tim Nichols  T: 020 7467 1337  M: 07876 452902  E: tnichols@tuc.org.uk

 

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