When is live-in domestic work modern slavery?
Live-in help can be a perfectly normal practice but it can also be used as a cover for the exploitation and control of somebody - usually from another country.
A live-in employment arrangement where the employee cannot leave of their own free will is a type of modern slavery known as domestic servitude.
Domestic servitude is a form of forced labour which sometimes also involves debt bondage. In some cases, it may be linked to forced marriage and child fostering.
The circumstances of live-in work can exacerbate the vulnerability and isolation of victims. It is much harder for authorities to inspect private homes in the way they could a formal workplace, making his type of exploitation easier to hide. Off-duty living quarters are attached to the domestic workplace and often there will be only a single worker and no-one to witness any abuse. The 'employer' may hold the worker's travel/identity documents, use the threat of deportation and exploit other vulnerabilities, such as language barriers, as a means of control.
When a domestic worker has been recruited from another county, domestic servitude can also encompass debt-bondage. Beginning with the worker incurring a debt for their travel or work placement, the employer or recruiter constantly adds additional fees (such as for food and accommodation) to the debt so that it keeps growing and can never be paid.