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Domestic Service: Legal Protection

Volume 462: debated on Thursday 28 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what legal protection for the rights of domestic workers have been introduced since 1997; and if he will make a statement. (125427)

I have been asked to reply.

In 1998, arrangements for overseas domestic workers in private households were revised to enable them to change employers in the UK if they had suffered abuse or exploitation, as long as they remained in employment as a domestic worker in a private household. This arrangement was subsequently amended to allow domestic workers to change employer regardless of the reason.

A regularisation scheme was also established for those who had left their original employer due to abuse or exploitation. Their stay would be regularised for 12 months in the first instance for those that brought themselves to the attention of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate between 23 July 1998 and 23 October 1999.