Recorded cases of human trafficking and forced labour by hidden exploiters and criminal gangs are on the increase in the UK. We call this modern slavery and there are now modern slavery laws in the UK.
Ways to detect
Ensure your workers didn’t have to pay to get work
Workers may have been forced to pay to secure a job at your site. This is against the law. Agency and job finding fees are a business cost, and shouldn’t be inflicted onto workers.
Ensure workers are not abused and are treated well
Keep a close eye on behaviour – ensure workers are free from intimidation from supervisors, other workers or suspicious individuals who may deliver and take them home. Ask the workers how they are being treated.
Make sure the wages you pay go to the workers
Avoid cash in hand and cheque arrangements. Ask your agency why, if they won’t pay into bank accounts. Be aware that workers may be forced into debt and have bank accounts controlled by exploiters. Ask some of the workers whether they know of this happening on your site.
Ask if the workers are free to leave of their own free will
Is there any penalty for leaving? Have they had passports/ID taken away from them?
Ask about their accommodation and travel
Is it safe and clean? Are they threatened with immediate eviction or for unpaid rent? Are they free to travel to work by their own means? Workers should have accommodation and rental agreements that meet legal standards. They should be free to travel and eat how they wish.
If you are in food or agriculture, ensure that anyone supplying you with permanent or temporary labour even if just for a day is licensed by the Gangmasters Licensing Authority
If you have any suspicions about potential human trafficking, forced labour or any other hidden labour exploitation please notify the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority by calling the GLAA on:
The Modern Slavery Helpline and Resource Centre brings us closer to the eradication of modern slavery. It provides victims, the public, statutory agencies and businesses access to information and support on a 24/7 basis.