Female migrants most likely to be illegally underpaid

August 12, 2008
Female migrants most likely to be illegally underpaid
An estimated 35,000 recent female migrant workers are being paid less than the minimum wage.

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new study shows female migrant workers may be more likely than any other group to be paid less than the national minimum wage.

New research by the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) at Oxford University shows that recent migrants are more than twice as likely as other workers to be earning less than the minimum wage. Women who recently migrated to the UK are even more likely than recent male migrant workers to be paid less, with an estimated 35,000 of them being illegally underpaid.

The research, commissioned by the TUC, aims to look at the reality behind the increase in the number of reported abuses of migrant workers. COMPAS reviewed the pay, working hours, type of work and accommodation of recent migrant workers who have been living and working in the UK for less than 10 years. The research focused on the East of England and the Midlands, areas where there have been high levels of recent migration. National information about migrant workers, such as the government’s Labour Force Survey (LFS), was also included in the report.

Oxford researchers Dr Hiranthi Jayaweera and Dr Bridget Anderson also found that recent migrants are more likely to have insecure employment and work far more hours than non-migrant workers. Over half (55 per cent) of recent migrant workers averaged between 31- 48 hours per week and 15 per cent totted up more than 48 hours, compared to 48 per cent and 13 per cent of workers generally.

The research was based on national data supplied by the Labour Force Survey and the Workers Registration Scheme, as well as smaller regional datasets based on surveys and registers of workers and labour providers, and organisations set up to help European workers in this country.

Provided by Oxford University

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