abusesaffiliationarrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upattack-typeburgerchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upClock iconclosedeletedevelopment-povertydiscriminationdollardownloademailenvironmentexternal-linkfacebookfiltergenderglobegroupshealthC4067174-3DD9-4B9E-AD64-284FDAAE6338@1xinformation-outlineinformationinstagraminvestment-trade-globalisationissueslabourlanguagesShapeCombined Shapeline, chart, up, arrow, graphLinkedInlocationmap-pinminusnewsorganisationotheroverviewpluspreviewArtboard 185profilerefreshIconnewssearchsecurityPathStock downStock steadyStock uptagticktooltiptwitteruniversalityweb

28 Mar 2023

Max Daly, VICE World News

Unions and NGOs Demand Reform to UK’s ‘Abusive’ Farm Worker Visa Programme

Migrant worker experts, NGOs and unions have written to the UK government urging it to overhaul a visa scheme which they say is allowing exploitation on farms to go unchecked. 

A letter, signed by 19 organisations and academics, was sent Tuesday to three government departments demanding that the Seasonal Worker Visa scheme is reviewed to prevent widespread “abuse and exploitation” of people coming to the UK to work on farms to cover agricultural workforce gaps left by Brexit...

“Workers are incurring debt, travelling long distances and leaving their families behind with the promise of decent work. Unless the Government makes a serious commitment to protect them by urgently overhauling this visa scheme, they will continue to be abused and exploited in return,” said the letter, whose signatures include the Trade Union Congress and Anti-Slavery International. 

It said the government should appoint an independent agency to monitor the scheme and ensure workers who are bonded to abusive employers are able to leave without being kicked off the scheme.