Website to help Portuguese workers

A website has been launched to provide support to the large number of Portuguese workers who have settled in the UK - many of whom are in the east of England.

A website has been launched to provide support to the large number of Portuguese workers who have settled in the UK - many of whom are in the east of England.

The TUC initiative - www.trabal harnoreinounido.org - explains workers' rights, from the minimum wage and working time through to holiday entitlement and sick pay.

The website, which is also being backed by the Citizens Advice Bureau and Portuguese union Confederação Geral dos Trabalhadores Portugueses, also contains information about housing and health, and provides guidance about living in the UK.

More than 500,000 Portuguese workers have come to the UK to make their living over the past 20 years, with at least 20,000 of them settling in Norfolk.


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As EU nationals, they are legally entitled to work in the UK but the TUC says that many of them have fallen prey to unscrupulous employers and have been forced to work long hours for little pay, in unsafe workplaces with few employment rights.

TUC regional secretary Megan Dob-ney said: “Portuguese workers are making a substantial contribution to all levels of Britain's economy, including sectors like catering, agriculture and hospitality which would struggle without their hard work. However, some rogue employ-ers are taking advantage of this workforce and exploiting their lack of understanding of British working culture and problems with language.

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“Portugal has a long history of exporting labour, but it is clear Portuguese workers need help to understand and secure their rights.

“By using this new website and working with unions, advice agencies and other similar organisations, migrant workers can get all the support and protection from crooked employers they are entitled to.”

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