From the TUC

Migrant women get the worst deal at work

18 Aug 2008, by in Labour market, Working Life

Women are more likely than men to be paid less than the minimum wage, and migrant women the most likely of all. As The Guardian has reported, research we published last week leads us to believe that around 35,000 newly arrived women accross the UK are facing illegal poverty wages. This isn’t surprising – evidence of mistreatment is strong. However, the Government’s strategy for proactive, preventative employment rights enforcement is not.  

At present the GLA is only responsible for regulating agriculture, forestry, horticulture, shellfish gathering and food processing and packaging. There is strong and independent evidence that its rigorous licensing regime is improving standards accross these industries, but to date there has been no Government justification for excluding other sectors – which are often female dominated with comparable levels of low pay and temporary work – from its investigative powers.  Instead there is a BERR committment to provide 13 more inspectors to investigate complaints about all employment agencies nationally. The Commission on Vulnerable Employment believes that a more comprehensive response is needed to ensure real workplace improvements for the most vulnerable workers – agreeing with companies using temporary labour that there is no real case for the GLA having such a sector-specific remit.