Romanian workers promised UK jobs that don't exist
20th April 2021
Workers in Romania are being exploited by fraudsters who promise work in the UK that doesn’t exist.
Labour exploitation officers in the UK are seeing many Romanian nationals who have paid upwards of £300 on the promise of a contract at large UK companies.
They hand over further money for a courier service to reach the UK - but when they arrive, realise there is no work waiting for them.
The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) works to protect vulnerable and exploited workers in the UK and is raising awareness around the issue.
We’ve teamed up with Crimestoppers and the Romanian Embassy in the UK to spread the message, both at home and abroad, to protect workers.
In recent months, GLAA officers have seen a number of Romanian workers exploited in this way; they reach the UK and find that the supposed contracts they had been given are fake and the business is not expecting them.
They find themselves in the UK without work, little money and no way of returning home.
GLAA Senior Investigating Officer Jenni Baines said: “We’ve seen many Romanian nationals be exploited in this way in the UK. People hand over money in good faith and believe they’re heading to the UK to begin an exciting new job but find out it’s all a lie only once it’s too late.
“They find themselves alone in an unfamiliar country with little money and no way of returning home. They’re in an extremely vulnerable position and could be further exploited by organised crime groups.
“Workers should never have to pay to secure a contract. Those who exploit workers often have links to organised crime; they don’t care about their victims’ welfare and are only interested in making money from abusing their labour.
“I’d urge people to never leave their home country without first verifying the work opportunity and know their rights as workers are protected by law in the UK.”
Romanian workers are reminded that they would never have to pay to secure a job in the UK and anyone accepting work in the UK should verify the contract they’ve been given before they leave Romania.
And if an advert for work in the UK looks to good to be true, it probably is. Adverts – often on social media - promise good jobs, accommodation and an attractive salary.
But sadly, the reality can be very different.
The law protects the rights of anyone who does secure genuine work in the UK. Information about UK workers’ rights, including holidays and sick pay, can be accessed on the GLAA website.
The GLAA urges anyone with information about labour exploitation involving work in the UK to make contact.
If you are already in the UK, call free and anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report details online via this website
If you spot advertisements which seem too good to be true, contact the GLAA on 0800 432 0804 or visit www.gla.gov.uk/report-issues.
Anyone who believes they may be a victim of Modern Slavery in the UK can contact the charity Salvation Army by calling their 24-hour confidential helpline on 0300 038151.
And the UK Modern Slavery Helpline is available 24/7 to offer confidential, advice and support for any victim. Call free on 08000 121 700.