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How to help Vulnerable Workers?

Category: Pro-Opinion, WORKPLACE, employment, work environment, worker

How to help Vulnerable Workers?

Introduction

Vulnerable workers are, people working in an environment where the risk of being denied employment rights is high, and who do not have the capacity or means to protect themselves from abuse. HSE defines vulnerable workers as those who are at risk of having their workplace entitlements denied, and who lack the capacity or means to secure them..

In a study by the RMT, the RMT’s survey also underlined that a disproportionate number of vulnerable workers come from minority-ethnic groups, whose vulnerability can be compounded by discrimination and the exploitation by unscrupulous employers of fears about their immigration status.

Vulnerable workers are Identified as:

  • Race and migrant workers
  • Disabled people
  • Gender
  • Older workers
  • Workers new to the job

The link between low pay and vulnerability was very clear. Of those who responded to the RMT's survey and who could be identified as vulnerable:

  • 67 per cent were paid only £6 to £8 an hour,
  • 23 per cent were paid the national minimum wage, and
  • 48 per cent said they felt exploited.

And the problems go further and deeper:

  • 23 per cent had had accidents at work - the vast majority occurring in the first year of employment.
  • 21 per cent said they had experienced discrimination in the workplace, including racism, disability discrimination, ageism, sexism and pregnancy discrimination.
  • 31 per cent said they felt bullied
  • 19 per cent said they were afraid to complain,
  • 11 per cent said they felt badly treated, and
  • most had no sick pay, no pension provision and no shift premiums.

How to Help Vulnerable Workers

  1. Help vulnerable workers to understand and secure their full entitlement to employment rights via an Induction and Introduce them to HR and explain there job to vulnerable workers
  2. Introduce vulnerable workers to opportunities for developing new skills
  3. Understand and comply with the law at Home and International
  4. Develop a co-ordinated approach with HR to keep up to date with Legal Changes
  5. Training team members in understanding vulnerable workers and legal procedures could create a win-win situation – employees get a fairer deal, the employment relationships are better sustained and morale improved.
  6. Mentoring vulnerable workers can help the mentee feel more confident and self-supporting. Mentees can also develop a clearer sense of what they want in their careers and their personal lives. They will develop greater self-awareness and see the world, and themselves, as others do.

Summary

In conclusion by spending more time learning about the needs of their employees leaders can set the tone and approach taken by their employees to achieve their organization’s goals and being flexible with your vulnerable employees is good for business. It builds employee trust and commitment, helps attract and keep key talent, as well as drives everyone to find solutions that work for all those involved.

Vercida works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with Vercida to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please call 02037405973 or email info@vercida.com for more information.

We are also officially recommended by Disability Confident as a step on achieving Employer status, please click here for more information.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email info@vercida.com for more information.

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