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19 Dec 2023

FLEX, Polish Migrants Organise for Change, Kanlungan Filipino Consortium, JCWI, Pan-African Workers' Association, Migrant Voice, Unseen, ATLEU & others

Joint Letter to the Home Secretary on Preventing exploitation of Health & Care Worker Visa holders in the Adult Social Care Sector

Dear Minister,

RE: Preventing exploitation of Health & Care Worker Visa holders on the Adult Social Care Sector

We write to you as a group of a coalition of organisations and academics working on the care sector or for the interests of migrant care workers to express our concern regarding the risks of serious harm and exploitation of migrant care workers in the adult social care sectors. We also write to highlight the serious detriment to the social care sector that would result from the implemention of the recent policy proposals announced by the Government...

As experts in this area, it is our position that the Governments' recent proposals will not address exploitation in the sector, will exacerbate labour shortages and make life much harder for migrant care workers in the UK...

The following four recommendations should be prioritised in any attempts to address labour exploitation in the care sector.

  • National Care Service - Establish a NHS-style system for social care.
  • Labour Market Enforcement - Establish a Single Enforcement Body that is accessible to workers in practice, adequately funded, provided with robust enforcement power and has secure reporting pathways in place. The Government must separate all labour market and immigration enforcement activity.
  • Dependency/ Options for Workers - Introduce bridging visas or the ability to apply to renew a visa in-country once expired. Ensure that all work visas have pathways to permanent settlement, the ability to change jobs easily and access to public unds... related visa fees for both the worker and the sponsoring employer must be removed.
  • Recruitment - Recruitment should only take place via agencies on the 'ethical recruiters list'.... Integrated Care Systmes in England, with involvement from local authorities, should operate a central point in the region tracking vacancies...