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The Hidden Workforce Building Britain
Exposing Exploitation and Protecting Vulnerable Workers in Construction

October 2011

This research into the exploitation of vulnerable construction workers was commissioned by UCATT from Community Links and Manchester Business School at The University of Manchester. The paper shows that exploitation is still rife in the construction industry and highlights the need for more stringent protection for workers.

Comprised of interviews with individuals working in dangerous, unregulated and illegal circumstances, and a review of the regulations, this paper raised serious concerns over the state of the building industry.

This research highlights that the current enforcement regime allows for poor working conditions and fails to prevent the exploitation of workers, finding that construction workers have less protection than those in sectors covered by the Gangmasters Licensing Agency (GLA). In this paper, UCATT calls for the creation of a single independent labour inspectorate covering all industrial sectors based on the GLA model, and for an increase in resources to step up the number of inspections.

You can find out more about this report here.