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Helpful Code for migrant workers

A new guide for employers to recruit and integrate overseas workers

20 November 2008. Business in the Community (BITC) has launched a guide for businesses with practical advice on recruitment and employment. BITC includes supermarkets like Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s.

The code was unveiled in Boston after business leaders visited the town in 2006 to examine issues associated with migrant workers.

Cohesion Minister Sadiq Khan said, “The Voluntary Code of Practice will ensure that employers are better informed when taking the responsibility to ensure migrant workers are smoothly integrated into local communities. It is a framework that will help employers establish good work practice which can only be a good thing.”

Phelim Keaveny, chair of the Migrant Worker Integration Group, said: "Workers from other countries make a substantial contribution to the UK economy. The launch of the Voluntary Code of Practice on Employing Migrant Workers/Overseas Staff in Great Britain is one way leading businesses – by working in partnership with Business in the Community – can play an active role in helping migrant workers settle and integrate into employment and their new host community. "

The Migrant Worker Integration Group is encouraging all employers of migrant workers to sign up to the principles of the Code.

Christine Larson, Rural Development Director, Business in the Community, considers this code "an authoritative view from a wide range of businesses, across a whole supply chain, as well as other stakeholders involved in the integration of workers, so key to the nation’s economy”.

The Migrant Worker Integration Group also presented Mr Khan, with a Position Paper proposing recommendations for both Government and business to enable the continued employment of migrant workers in the lower skilled and seasonal jobs on which our national economy depends. The paper will also be delivered to DEFRA, DBERR, DIUS and the Home Office.

Business in the Community has worked out the Code of Practice to better inform employers about how they can make migrant workers feel welcome and help them settle into their new environment. It also sets out what employers can do on a longer-term basis to help migrant workers integrate more effectively into their workplace and the community.

BITC regards migrant workers as a growing category of employees in Great Britain. "They are a necessary resource for many employment sectors due to a shortage of available local labour. Evidence suggests that migrant workers can have a positive impact on local communities and be an important factor in sustaining local business diversity", says the BITC.

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