Why protecting migrant domestic workers is so important

Migrant domestic workers are people who have entered the UK legally with an employer on a domestic worker visa to work in a private household.

This video documents why migrant domestic workers need basic protections in law. The UK Government proposes to remove the existing protections including the right to change employer. Kalayaan demands these proposals are dropped and protections are improved.


Watch Kalayaan's video on why the protections for migrant domestic workers are so important.



Kalayaan is the only organisation in the UK providing support services to migrant domestic workers. It works with all migrant domestic workers regardless of nationality, gender, physical ability, religion or age. Kalayaan registers approximately 350 new migrant domestic workers each year.

The isolated, dependant and unregulated nature of working in private household, combined with gender-based and racial discrimination means that domestic workers are vulnerable to exploitative practices.

They can face physical, psychological and sexual abuse, discrimination, low pay and long hours. Employers often use passport retention as a means of control.

Migrant domestic workers are often unfamiliar with the UK system and unsure of their rights in this country. Often they speak little or no English and made vulnerable by their dependence on one employer for information about their status in the UK, their job, their housing and their immigration status.

Kalayaan works with its clients to overcome these barriers and improve their quality of life. We also campaign for the rights of Migrant Domestic Workers as workers in the UK and strongly oppose the government's new proposals for Migrant Domestic Workers as part of "Making Migration Work for Britain". Unless the proposals are amended the Government's proposals will effectively remove even the most basic of employment rights for MDWs.


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