Migrant domestic workers handed peers flowers on their way into Parliament yesterday to thank them for a vital scrap of legislation protecting them from modern-day slavery.
Existing laws signed off in 2012 prevent migrant workers employed as “domestics” moving from one employer to another.
But the Lords voted last week to scrap the tied domestic worker visa as an amendment to the modern day slavery Bill.
Backed by union Unite, the flower-giving workers were also on hand to press MPs to keep the amendment during the third and final reading of the Bill within the week.
Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland said peers had done “the right thing” in the lobby last week.
“Domestic workers are some of the most vulnerable workers in our society and far more exposed to exploitation. Many are also living with the added fear of deportation, if they speak out.
“What the peers have done is restore a measure of protection but much more needs to be done in the long-term to truly end modern day slavery for migrant domestic workers.”
Justice 4 Domestic Workers co-ordinator Marissa Begonia added: “It was a great victory in the House of Lords, but we are concerned that MPs could reject this amendment on the third reading when the Bill returns to the Commons.”
She urged MPs to support the amendment to protect migrant domestic workers.