Recent research has uncovered an incident of modern slavery in the social care system, leading to questions as to how often this type of modern slavery occurs within the sector.

A care home was recently raided by Border Agency staff, finding that staff within the home had no proof of identity and were working in poor conditions for long periods of time. Following the raid, it was found that the home itself was being used to traffic women into the UK.

Modern slavery and social care

This is not the first case of its kind. From a number of other accounts from social care workers it appears that foreign nationals working within the social care sector in the UK are vulnerable to falling victim to modern slavery. In many cases the care workers lived on the premises of the care home and refused to discuss their treatment unless they could speak anonymously.

It is thought that some agencies that supplied the staff and care homes that were suspected to be carrying out modern slavery practices were not investigated further and are still operating, albeit as private providers without the support of the local council.

It was found that many homes were falling foul of modern slavery legislation unknowingly, with some struggling to recruit the right staff are sometimes approached by unscrupulous agencies that state they can supply workers overnight, and therefore a care home would not carry out the adequate ‘right to work’ checks.

The full story on modern slavery in the social care sector is available on the Guardian website.

As social care is often an ‘unseen’ industry, cases such as these are quite possibly occurring more often than we would like to think. On top of this, it can also be difficult to identify the signs of modern slavery and what to do if you suspect it to be happening.

Commercial organisations above a certain size must publish a modern slavery statement that informs on how they train their staff on the issue of modern slavery. However, it is our recommendation that every organisation should incorporate a degree of modern slavery training into their processes.

We provide a number of courses on modern slavery, from basic awareness all the way to investigating modern slavery offences. To arrange modern slavery for your business or organisation please visit our Modern Slavery training course page and reserve your place.