March 15, 2018

Kalayaan and experts publish minimum standards for ODW information meetings

In January 2018, the Home Office announced their proposed timeline for the implementation of information meetings for migrant domestic workers newly arrived in the UK. They have stated their intention to run a 6 month pilot due to commence in July 2018.

Information meetings were originally conceived by James Ewins QC, author of the independent review into the terms of the Overseas Domestic Worker visa, which identified procedural failings in ensuring that workers knew of their rights prior to their arrival in the UK.

Kalayaan has worked in partnership with a number of experts and front line practitioners to produce some minimum standards that we consider are essential to informing the scope and delivery of the meetings. We have also included recommendations on the visa application process through to arriving in the UK and being requested to attend a meeting. In doing so, we hope to maximize the opportunities for workers and employers to be made aware of the meetings as the Home Office has stated they have no legal power to compel a worker to attend.

The Home Office has yet to announce what safeguards they will put in place should a worker disclose they are being abused or exploited at an information meeting. It is crucial that a worker is not left having to return to their employer but can access safe and emergency accommodation and receive further information and advice concerning their rights as a worker.

The minimum standards can be accessed on our Publications page here.

If your organisation is considering bidding for this service and would like to know more about our recommendations please contact Avril Sharp, Policy Officer at avril@kalayaan.org.uk or call 0207 243 2942.