Kalayaan’s campaign and policy work is focused on reinstating the basic rights of migrant domestic workers which were removed in April 2012, tying domestic workers who have entered since this date to their employers. This makes it impossible in practise for migrant domestic workers to assert any rights as, without the right to resign or to leave their employment, they have no bargaining power at all in what is already a vastly unequal employment relationship.
Abuse reported to Kalayaan by workers who have registered with us since April 2012 make it clear that the removal of the rights to change employer not only destroys the chances of migrant domestic workers to access justice once they have escaped abuse. The fact that workers are tied to their employer with no option to leave also results in a worsening of treatment in employment, particularly in restrictions of freedoms. A comparison of the 402 new workers who registered with Kalayaan in the two years since the tied visa was introduced show that those tied to their employers (120 of the 402) report consistently worse treatment that those who had entered the UK prior to April 2012 and so had the right to leave and seek alternative employment should they chose to do so;