The Staff Wanted Initiative seeks to raise awareness within the UK hospitality industry of the steps needed to combat the exploitation of vulnerable workers, trafficking and forced labour.
The project seeks to improve the recruitment and employment of staff in the UK hospitality industry by working with business partners and other stakeholders to help identify practices that can allow exploitation of workers in the sector, and as a consequence, reputational and legal risk for business, and to advocate for improved practice and risk mitigation.
Phase 1 of the project initially concentrated on London Hotels and the 2012 Olympics.
Phase 2, commencing in 2013, will see the initiative expanded, providing guidelines and tools for the Hotel Industry and associated businesses throughout the UK.
Working with the hospitality industry and other stakeholders
The Staff Wanted Initiative seeks to engage and collaborate at all levels of the hospitality industry, making a robust business case as to why taking steps to combat forced labour and trafficking is essential to managing business risk and reputation as well as protecting human dignity.
This multi-stakeholder engagement includes working with individual hotels and larger chains, trade bodies, recruitment agencies, service agencies, trade unions, The Metropolitan Police, and wider civil society.
The SEE Formula
Scrutinise – Engage – Ensure
The SEE Formula is a set of simple guidelines for addressing the challenges confronting the hospitality sector.
The SEE Formula:
- Raises awareness of key issues of worker exploitation within the sector.
Offers a lens to view the activities and pricing structures of those agencies providing labour and other services to the hospitality industry.
Provides simple checks for hotel managers and supervisors to prevent exploitative practices.
05 August 2014
It was hoped the UK Modern Slavery Bill currently making its way through parliament would include provisions to better protect the many agency workers employed in hotels throughout the UK. Despite the advice of many organisations during the consultative stages, the bill in its current draft still fails to ensure a properly mandated and resourced regulatory authority and enforcement body to prevent exploitation and abuse.
Glasgow | 22nd October 2013
Glasgow Commonwealth Games:
Upholding Human Rights, Preventing Forced Labour and Trafficking
The Scottish Human Rights Commission, Anti-Slavery International and the Institute for Human Rights and Business are organising a one-day conference to explore the challenges for business, policymakers and wider civil society in addressing human rights issues within the preparation and delivery of the XX Commonwealth Games, Glasgow 2014.
John Cryer MP calls for an end to the exploitation of staff in UK Hotels
29 January 2013
Representatives from a range of civil society organisations, trade unions and the hospitality sector attended a Parliamentary Reception on “Preventing the Exploitation of Staff in the UK Hotel Industry”.
John Cryer MP
The reception was hosted by John Cryer MP and featured speakers from the Staff Wanted Initiative, Unite the Union (Hotel Workers) and hotel trade body the International Tourism Partnership. Addressing the meeting, John Cryer stated:
"Too many people who work in hotels face exploitation; working long hours over their contracted hours, paid minimum wage or even less, and often being forced to sign contracts to make themselves falsely self-employed. This type of behaviour is totally deplorable and unacceptable."
Joanna Ewart-James of Anti-Slavery International and the Staff Wanted Initiative noted:
Whilst many customers are not aware of the exploitation faced by some hotel staff working behind the scenes, sometimes the hotels themselves are deliberately turning a blind eye. The Staff Wanted Initiative calls on hotels to put in place concrete measures, set out in our ‘SEE formula’, to ensure workers are not vulnerable to exploitation and even worse, trafficking and forced labour."
A lively discussion followed focused on how hotels could be encouraged to adopt better practice with regard to their agency staff and how gaps in the existing regulatory framework which fails to identify and prevent such abuse can be addressed.
Media reports from the meeting
Calls for hotels to engage in dialogue to prevent the exploitation of agency staff
Hotel groups deny exploitation of housekeeping agency staff
Hotels urged to take heed of staff exploitation claims
Business must do more to protect the world's most vulnerable workers (The Guardian, 05 October 2012)
Governments and businesses need to take further action to prevent trafficking, forced labour and staff exploitation
Cleaners' anger at outsourcing in top Olympic hotel (BBC, 27 September 2012)
The outsourcing of cleaning contracts at a top London hotel meant migrant workers were paid as little as £15 for an eight-hour shift during the Olympic Games, a BBC Newsnight investigation into conditions in the hotel industry, and how those conditions affect Eastern European and British workers, finds.
London 2012 - London Hotels receive details of the Staff Wanted Initiative
Don't turn a blind eye to exploitation. What would you SEE if you really looked? Our leaflet shows hotels all the steps they need to take to ensure that they are taking responsibility for all those who work on their premises. In advance of The 2012 Olympics every hotel in the Greater London Area received a copy of this leaflet.
Download our Staff Wanted Initiative leaflet
In Parliament - Early Day Motion 276 – Preventing the exploitation of staff in UK hotels
(03 July 2012)
John Cryer MP has tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament
to support the Staff Wanted Initiative.
We call on all MPs to sign this EDM and help prevent the exploitation of workers, particularly agency staff in UK hotels.
(21 May 2012, by Neill Wilkins)
The Staff Wanted Initiative - The Hospitality Industry will only earn respect by respecting those who work within it
Swept along by the Olympics and interest in the capital engendered by the Jubilee Celebrations, the tourism industry and particularly London hotels are anticipating a bumper summer. The rewards of this boom will not, however, be shared by all of those who work in London’s hotels. Behind the public face of the industry and the welcoming smiles of the reception desks are many others hidden from view... read more
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