In 2008, the Commission launched an inquiry into recruitment and employment in the meat and poultry processing sector in England and Wales. The findings, published in 2010, found widespread evidence of mistreatment and exploitation of migrant and agency workers, with the poor treatment of pregnant workers a particular concern.
The Commission set up a multi-stakeholder taskforce to support the sector overcome the problems uncovered in the inquiry report. Through the taskforce all of the major supermarkets and industry bodies have agreed and implemented a set of standards designed to help processing firms address the issues raised in the inquiry report.
One of the inquiry recommendations was that the Commission should review the progress made by the sector after 12 months. The Commission is pleased with the progress made by the industry, especially in light of the difficult economic environment. Pregnant workers are treated significantly better, workers are no longer segregated by nationality or suffer physical abuse; British workers no longer experience difficulties registering with agencies due to their nationality. We have included recommendations in our review findings report, and launched guidance to support the sector tackle the remaining challenges.
Last updated: 26 May 2016