Employment is Freely Chosen

What you should do - ETI

All ETI and best practice elements are covered by the legal requirements

Ensure that your systems demonstrate that all your workers are working of their own free will.

You must ensure that:

  • Correct procedures, practices and checks are in place to ensure that no workers are forced to work against their will
  • Workers are free to leave their employment, after giving reasonable notice, without losing any pay or benefits to which they are entitled
  • Workers do not pay deposits (e.g. for uniforms, personal protective equipment, tools etc)
  • If any deposits are paid because of legal requirements, these must be returned promptly at the end of employment
  • There are no bonded workers - if loans are offered to workers, they must not tie the worker to your employment
  • If you use prison labour, workers have the choice whether to work and are paid according to the law

Keep your eyes wide open!

Click here for a case study.
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Case study:

Forced labour in the UK

A group of Eastern Europeans were brought to the UK by a gang to work illegally. They were originally informed that they would be working with permits, but en route were given false British passports.

When they realised that they would be in the UK illegally they attempted to leave the gang’s control, but were threatened so seriously that they were forced to continue.

On arrival they were informed of their conditions: that they must work seven days a week for one year with no pay because they needed to repay their 'debt' incurred for various expenses, including those related to migrating to the UK. Their salaries were transferred into the bank account of a gang member.

They were watched very carefully, moved from house to house, and kept isolated. If they broke any conditions - if they spoke to anyone for example - they were fined and this was all noted down in a book and added to their 'debt'. Control was maintained by beatings and physical assaults.

Source: ‘Forced Labour and Migration to the UK’ 2005 published by the TUC

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