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CIOB supports campaign that tackles the exploitation and employment of illegal workers

Published

15th October 2015

This week, the Home Office launched Operation Magnify, a cross-government commitment and UK-wide enforcement initiative, which targets businesses that are employing and exploiting illegal migrant workers. Immigration officers are working closely with other government departments to share data to identify immigration offenders and to take action against exploitative employers, in particular those who have taken advantage of migrants through cheap labour.

Commenting on the enforcement campaign, Chris Blythe, chief executive at the CIOB said: “We welcome the government’s commitment to help tackle illegal working in the construction industry. Migrants without the right to work become vulnerable and, as our industry tells us, are at serious risk of injury, exploitation and human rights abuses. 

“Yet, the industry’s business model must take some of the blame for this exploitation. The global trend towards outsourcing and cut price contracting has made it too convenient for main contractors to duck out of their responsibilities by blaming the subcontractor. Contractors who take that line risk reputational damage and are liable to incur significant financial penalties, delays and site shutdowns.  

"The uncertainty amongst clients which stems from reports of modern slavery also risks the image and success of the entire industry. So it is clear that we all have a responsibility to come together and increase transparency at every level of the supply chain if we are to eradicate the exploitation of illegal workers.”

Earlier this year the CIOB released a report entitled: Modern Slavery: The Dark Side of Construction centred on the need to create an all-encompassing approach to modern slavery, with contributions from government, industry, and NGOs required.  

A film about the campaign and featuring Chris Blythe can be found bly clicking here.  

 

Contact

Saul Townsend
+1344 630 766

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