Migrant Domestic Workers could be Left Out in the Cold.

Justice 4 Domestic Workers this week led a protest outside parliament, which saw hundreds of migrant domestic workers demonstrating against proposed changes to their visa conditions.

The proposed changes will affect domestic workers coming into the UK from countries like Indonesia, Morocco, Nigeria and the Philippines and include chauffeurs, gardeners, cooks and au pairs.

Current rules allow these workers to change jobs and move to different households once in the UK, without losing their immigration status. This is especially important for those who move over with their employers and are subject to abuse and/or exploitation. They are able to remove themselves from dangerous or exploitative situations and find more suitable work that allows them to build a life in the UK. Currently, they are also able to apply for settlement after 5 years in the UK and may bring dependants with them.

Drastic Changes Proposed

But the government has vowed to cut migration substantially by 2015 and say these proposed changes are simply part of that plan. They are considering scrapping the visa completely, encouraging people to hire domestic help from within the UK or at least from within the EU.

Should the visa not be scrapped, the government is considering the following changes:

  • Strengthening pre-entry requirements
  • Restricting entry to six or 12 months (if accompanying a Tier 1 or 2 migrant)
  • Removing the possibility of extension entirely
  • Removing the right to change employer while on the visa
  • Removing right to sponsor dependents
  • Removing the right to settlement

Justice 4 Domestic Workers says that the proposed plans will leave domestic workers open to abuse and exploitation and that the current visa provided a safeguard for some of the most vulnerable and isolated domestic workers. Their argument is that these workers could come to the UK with their employers expecting a better life, only to be treated like slaves. In such situations their only choices would be to stay and be a slave or go back to a life of poverty in their home country.

What do you think?

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  • sj

    I agree for the retention of the usual law on domestic visa holder.These people worked tooth and nail to be able to come here as domestics and they deserve to be treated fairly..If in the later years they decide to sponsor their families,it’s just the most noble act to do after all the sacrifices,being away from the family for a number of years,ignoring the long hours of work etc etc..This is what Britain is famous for… equality,family driven,fairness where credit is due..

    as for the plan of employing british people or EU in place of domestics from other places.. come on.. ask a british lady to do your household chores and what will she do? A mediocre job with alot of demands from you as her employer. some don’t even want this kind of job cuz your law is sooo “Compasionate” that’s why they would rather be idle and still get monetary aid from the government rather than letting their hands be dirtied and at the end of the day feel tired and with a meager salary to their standards.

    This is my honest thoughts

  • Thabiso

    Hello..I am really interested in available domestic work. And its realy my priority.

  • brownie

    I agree SJ…!!!!!