November 12, 2014

Two years of the tied visa. Time to reinstate rights

The 6 April 2014 marked two years since the migrant domestic workers, entering the UK on the Overseas Domestic Worker visa, became tied to their employers. Since this time Kalayaan has registered 402 new workers. 120 of these were tied to their employers as they entered on either the tied ODW visa or on the diplomatic domestic worker visa.

A comparison of the reports of abuse made to Kalayaan by workers who are tied to their employers and those who are not (who entered prior to 2012 yet registered at Kalayaan since this time) demonstrate clearly that, while all migrant domestic workers remain vulnerable to abuse, those who are tied to their employers have worse conditions and less freedom:

  • Tied workers are twice as likely to report having being physically abused as those who were not tied (16% and 8%)
  • 65% of those on the tied visa didn’t have their own rooms, so had no privacy, often sleeping in the kitchen or lounge or sharing with the children, compared to 34% of those not tied
  • 78% of tied workers had their passport kept from them, compared with 48% of those not tied
  • Kalayaan staff assessed more than double (69%) of those tied as trafficked, in contrast with 26% of those who were not tied.

You can read our briefing¬†‘Still enslaved: The migrant domestic workers who are trapped by the immigration rules’.