Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Abuse of Domestic Workers In The UK

Cynthia Barker writes...As most people in the UK get back to work today after a long weekend break for Easter, spare a thought for some migrants workers who hardly ever get a proper day off - Domestic Workers.

Human Rights Watch has published a report: 'Hidden Away Abuses Against Migrant Domestic Workers In The UK', which highlights the plight of abused workers, many of them from the Philippines, who are brought into the UK on temporary visas by their foreign employers and have no means of escape.

The current government abolished the Blair government's 1998 Domestic Workers Visa concession, which allowed migrants who ran away from abusive employers to switch their visa to another employer and eventually obtain ILR (indefinite leave to remain - UK permanent residency) in Britain.

I have helped many such runaway domestic workers obtain new visas with decent employers and some of them are now British Citizens, yet still work for the same employer. Why? Because the employer is paying them very well, they live-in at some of London's most exclusive addresses and they have more net disposable income more than most people working in the UK.

Many of the victims brought in by overseas employers, usually from the Middle East or India, were either paid the same wage they would have received back home or in some cases nothing at all - despite the fact that some of the employers were billionaires!

Take the case of Liz Hurley's billionaire Indian ex-husband who brought in a worker under the old system and paid her the same salary as in India.

Workers in the UK must be paid at least the minimum wage or preferably a living wage and they have the same rights as British workers.

Unfortunately, under the current temporary visa (tied to the employer) system we have no way of enforcing these regulations or protecting the migrant worker.

Why do people with so much abuse people with so little?

If you need advice on any immigration matter, EU or UK immigration law, or want to appeal against a refusal, call Cynthia Barker on 020 8731 5972 or email her your details to Cynthia Barker is an OISC registered Immigration Adviser with a team of Level 3 Immigration Law Practitioners, Concept Care Solutions, Middlesex House, 29-45 High Street, Edgware, HA8 7UU.

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