June 29, 2018

Tendering process for information meetings fails to empower workers and penalize exploitative employers

Last week the Home Office opened the tendering process inviting bids from organisations wishing to run the service delivering information sessions to migrant domestic workers newly arrived in the UK. The deadline for return of bids is 13 July 2018.

These sessions were originally conceived to assist abused and exploited workers to make informed decisions about their situation in the UK, including taking practical self-help steps to leave abusive employers and support to do so.

Kalayaan and members of an advisory group made up of individuals with relevant expertise, including James Ewins QC, raised concerns over the draft requirements for the tender and the impact they would have on vulnerable and exploited workers coming to the UK. We are disappointed that we have not been able to review the revised tender before it was finalized and that some of the recommendations made in our minimum standards are considered outside the scope of the pilot. These were drafted in consultation with migrant domestic workers and advocates providing them with direct support and were designed to ensure workers were made aware of the information meetings prior to and after their arrival in the UK.

A summary of our concerns on the tender can be found here.