Trouble In Paradise, Zimbabwean Careworkers Tell Harrowing Experiences In UK
Zimbabwean caregivers living in the United Kingdom have recently come forward to report the unfair labour practices and exploitation that they are subjected to.
Reports indicate that these caregivers are being made to work for long hours, with poor wages and in some cases, even being threatened with deportation if they complain to the Home Office.
The culprits involved in this exploitation include some Zimbabweans who the Home Office mandated to recruit caregivers from Zimbabwe. These recruiters are also reportedly asking for kickbacks for facilitating the caregivers’ entry into the UK, despite the service being supposed to be free.
The pay scale should be £15 to £18 pounds per hour, but they’re being paid only £7 to £10, which is indicative of the exploitation and modern slavery they are subjected to.
Caregivers who have spoken out about the exploitation have confirmed that it is happening but are reluctant to give further details due to fear of repercussions. A British weekly newspaper, The Observer on Sunday reported that a victim of suspected labour abuses in the UK was ousted from her job and victimised after an interview with Home Office compliance officers for an investigation into illegal recruitment practices.
The victim claims that the interviewer gave her assurances that her identity would not be disclosed, but days after the interview, she was contacted by her employer asking why she had co-operated.
She said the care home had been sent her name and details of her comments, including the claims about abusive practices and illegal fees.
She told the newspaper:
I no longer feel safe. I thought the Home Office would see me as a victim. Instead, they have exposed me to intimidation and threats from my employer.
The 25-year-old Zimbabwean national had paid a fee of about £1 500 to an agent who arranged for a care home in Surrey.