Forced Labour

Prohibition on Forced and Compulsory Labour

UK Legislation recognizes the social role that complies with the work and the freedom of individuals to select jobs and devote their efforts to the lawful work they chose. Section 71 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 introduces a new offence of holding someone in slavery or servitude, or requiring a person to perform forced or compulsory labour. The offence applies to anyone holding a person in such circumstances and the maximum penalty is 14 years imprisonment or a fine or both.

Modern Slavery Act 2015 deals with the slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour and about human trafficking, including provision for the protection of victims; to make provision for an Independent Anti-slavery Commissioner; and for connected purposes.

Source: §71 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009; Modern Slavery Act 2015

Freedom to Change Jobs and Right to Quit

There is no provision in UK Legislature, which restrict the workers to change or quit job. If a worker decides to terminate the employment, he/she may resign by giving notice to the employer as specified in the employee’s contract of employment.

Source: §1(4e) of the Employment Rights Act 1996

Inhuman Working Conditions

The maximum weekly working hours (including overtime) are 48 hours averaged over a reference period of 17 weeks. Workers can also opt out of the maximum weekly hour limit of 48 hours.

For employees that have normal working hours, overtime usually means any time worked beyond these hours. An employee’s employment contract will usually include details of any overtime pay rates and how they are worked out. Employees only have to work overtime if their contract says so.

Source: §234 of Employment Rights Act (ERA), 1996; Regulation 4 of the Working Time Regulations 1998; www.gov.uk/overtime-your-rights

Regulations on Forced Labour

  • Coroners and Justice Act, 2009
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