Industry Profiles - Hotel Industry - 2020
Here we look at labour exploitation in the hotel industry and the headline trends for this sector including victim profiles, recruitment, control and how they are transported to the UK.
Victims of exploitation are predominantly male, usually below the age of 45 years and of Romanian nationality. Vulnerabilities are targeted including irregular migrants and those who have difficulty communicating in English.
There is limited reporting concerning employment of minors, the homeless and those with learning disabilities.
Exploitation is reported across various locations, with slightly higher reporting in the South-East and North-West regions.
Recruitment methods are not often reported. Where this is known adverts on the internet and social media have been used, also via friends and family.
Living onsite at the hotel may lead to control of workers' movement outside of their working hours. There are limited reports of workers having curfews and/or being kept “prisoner” in the evening/at the end of their shift.
Accommodation is often supplied by the exploiter; the type is unknown in several reports. Where known a residential property is most common. There are limited reports of victims living at their place of work.
Living conditions are often described as substandard or overcrowded.
Withheld wages and non-payment of National Minimum Wage are the most frequently reported allegations.
There are some reports of workers being given free accommodation but no wage and scavenging for food.
Excessive hours are reported sometimes in excess of 14 hours a day, six or seven days a week. Also, debt bondage, health and safety concerns and physical and mental mistreatment.
It is reported that hotels face an uncertain future due to factors such as Brexit and a weakened market resulting in declining investment.
However, these factors may also make the UK more affordable to tourists and there may be an increase in demand.
Key questions to prevent and identify labour exploitation
• Do members of your organisation receive training on spotting the signs of modern slavery and labour exploitation? How do you publicise methods of reporting suspicious activity?
• Do you have an internal escalation process if you identify an issue of exploitation? Do you know who to contact?
• Has your organisation undertaken a modern slavery / labour exploitation risk assessment? What anti-trafficking measures are in place?
• Are there mechanisms in place to engage with workers and ask questions about their recruitment and working conditions? Including access to translation services?
• Are there regular audits to identify and address any exploitative labour practices?
• What opportunities are there for collaborative working and sharing/adopting best practice within the hospitality industry? Have you considered joining the hospitality protocol?
What to consider when reporting intelligence
Example: A chain of hotels is involved in exploiting workers. Students from Pakistan are particularly targeted, they are not paid the National Minimum Wage. There are issues with wages being withheld.
What else might assist the GLAA?
- How many potential victims are affected?
- Are workers of other nationalities also exploited?
- What hours are worked?
- How does recruitment occur?
- Are there any more company details?
- Is the whole company involved in exploitation or a specific individual/group of individuals?
- What are the addresses of the hotels involved?
- Are there any other indicators of modern slavery?
Whilst not all factors may be known, any additional details will assist the GLAA in identifying people and locations involved for operational purposes and to improve our intelligence picture.
Who to contact
Please report to the GLAA:
• Unlicensed trading in the regulated sector (agriculture, horticulture, shellfish gathering and any associated processing and packaging) across the UK.
• Labour market offences (non-payment of the National Minimum Wage, breach of Employment Agency Standards) in the regulated sector in England and Wales
• Individuals, labour users or labour providers who are suspected of modern slavery and human trafficking in any labour industry (excluding sexual exploitation), or individuals who are potential victims of such activity in England and Wales.
Please report to partners:
• Issues of National Minimum Wage only, in sectors that are not GLAA regulated to the HMRC NMW team (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/national-minimum-wage-enquiries-and-complaints)
• Health and safety issues only (all sectors) to the Health and Safety Executive (http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/concerns.htm)
• Workplace relations and employment law issues (including contract issues, discrimination and grievances) to the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) (https://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1410)
• When there is an immediate threat to life contact the police emergency number.
• To report labour exploitation, human trafficking or modern slavery outside of the regulated sectors in Northern Ireland or Scotland, contact the local police service.