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New action to protect vunerable workers - 11-06-2007
Action to protect vulnerable workers and root out the rogue employers has outlined by Trade and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling.

A Vulnerable Worker Enforcement Forum will bring together experts from unions, business, enforcement and advice bodies to look at the best way to protect the vulnerable in the workforce.

Alistair Darling said;

"All workers deserve decent minimum standards - a minimum wage, the right to paid holidays or the right to work in a safe environment.

"We need to protect vulnerable workers. I want to make sure that if abuses occur they are dealt with as soon as possible. By bringing together employers and unions we can identify how to strengthen enforcement"

Mr Darling also announced the start of two pilot projects in Birmingham and London to identify ways that vulnerable workers and their employers can better understand their rights and access the help, advice and information out there.

The Pilot in London is led by the TUC and is targeting cleaners, security guards, caretakers and housekeeping staff working in building services in the City of London and Tower Hamlets.

The Birmingham pilot is led by Marketing Birmingham and is targeting workers in hotels and restaurants, such as hotel porters, kitchen and catering assistants, waiters, waitresses, bar staff, chefs and cooks and housekeeping staff.

The pilots will;

  • Help vulnerable workers secure their full entitlement to employment rights;

  • Introduce vulnerable workers to opportunities for developing new skills;

  • Help employers to comply with and understand the law;

  • Develop a co-ordinated approach to taking action against employers who fail to comply with legislation; and

  • Generate evidence to inform Government policy on vulnerable workers.

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