For example, many victims and survivors of modern slavery do not have the evidence and documentation required to apply for settled status. Secondly, there are real concerns that certain vulnerable communities are not aware of the need to convert pre-settled status to settled status.
As the demand for low skilled labour continues post Brexit, there is a real risk that the visitor route could increasingly be used to facilitate entry of those intending to work informally and who may be at risk of exploitation.
The Commissioner has urged ministers and government officials to stress test the new immigration system to ensure the vulnerable are protected. She also makes several important recommendations.
She states that the quality and compliance of sponsors under the new points-based system is vital. Steps must be taken to ensure that individuals are not only paid the correct amount, but that employers are not able to reclaim money or pass on costs to individuals. Secondly, effective labour market enforcement is more important than ever. Certain sectors will be disproportionately impacted and trends in exploitation and changes to the labour market must be closely monitored. Resourcing for more inspection and enforcement requires careful consideration. Finally, communication of migrant workers’ rights is crucial.
At The Clewer Initiative, we are passionate about supporting employers and workers and ensuring both groups understand best practice and worker rights. The Farm Work Welfare App is a great place to start if you have any questions. Please spread the word about this easy to access app!