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Migrants at WorkImmigration and Vulnerability in Labour Law$
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Cathryn Costello and Mark Freedland

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198714101

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198714101.001.0001

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Migrant Workers in Agriculture

Migrant Workers in Agriculture

A Legal Perspective

Chapter:
(p.79) 5 Migrant Workers in Agriculture
Source:
Migrants at Work
Author(s):

ACL Davies

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198714101.003.0005

This chapter examines three key aspects of the legal regime applicable (until recently) to agricultural workers in the UK: Agricultural Wages Orders, which applied to employees in agriculture, local or migrant; the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme, which enabled workers from Bulgaria and Romania to come to the UK on a temporary basis to work in agriculture; and the Gangmasters Licensing Authority, which regulates those who supply labour (whether local or migrant) in the agriculture sector. The chapter argues that the abolition of the first two elements of the regime, and recent reforms to the third, demonstrate a shift in regulatory policy from ensuring that agricultural workers enjoy decent terms and conditions of employment, given their vulnerability, to combating serious crime such as forced labour and trafficking. While the reasons for this are understandable, it is suggested that there is still room for a worker-protective agenda in the sector.

Keywords:   agricultural workers, Gangmasters Licensing Authority, Morecambe Bay, Agricultural Wages Board, seasonal workers, minimum wage, trafficking, forced labour, criminal law

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