Examination of Witnesses

Part of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:00 pm on 12th February 2019.

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Rosa Crawford:

The TUC has said that the Government should scrap all the proposals in the Bill and that we should instead continue to have the current system in place for EU workers to come here, work freely and have all the legal protections in place. For any temporary visa migration system, as I said, time-limited visas bring the inherent risks that workers will face further exploitation because their condition of employment is linked to their legal status in the country.

An important change that would mean that all workers were less at risk of exploitation would be to make sure that workers, regardless of immigration status, could enforce their employment rights. That is in line with the International Labour Organisation’s recommendations. Employment rights are human rights—it is not a crime to work and it should not be a crime to try to claim your right at work. An important step would be to roll back the provisions in the Immigration Act 2016 that criminalise undocumented working. As I said, we have grave concerns about the introduction of any temporary visa scheme for EU citizens, because it would just increase exploitation and make it easier for bad employers to commit undercutting.