FLEX written submission to EFRA Committee inquiry into labour shortages in the food and farming industry

January, 2022

FLEX's written evidence to the EFRA Committee inquiry into labour shortages in the food and farming industry highlights the risks of labour exploitation on the Seasonal Workers' Pilot (SWP), drawing on its own research in this area and its response to the recent Government review of the first year of the SWP.  The UK needs to ensure it is not facilitating exploitation by treating workers as commodities who cannot access legal rights or safeguards. It needs to plan for a more sustainable, fairer approach that ensures the protection of workers and industries rather than proceeding with unplanned opening and closing of routes without consultation, or proper monitoring of recruitment and working conditions, learning from existing schemes as to the practicalities and risk areas, or even allowing time for parliamentary scrutiny.