Tuesday 31 March, 2020

Barbadians in UK farm program will not be mistreated

(L-R Chief Executive of Concordia UK, Stephanie Maurel, Labour Minister Colin Jordan and Head of CJNM Consulting, Christopher Griffith)

(L-R Chief Executive of Concordia UK, Stephanie Maurel, Labour Minister Colin Jordan and Head of CJNM Consulting, Christopher Griffith)

Barbadians traveling to the United Kingdom to work on farms there are being given the assurance that they will not be mistreated or underpaid for their labour.

Barbados is being included in a farm labour pilot program in the UK to start in April for six months with the selection process now in its final stages.

Stephanie Maurel, Chief Executive of Concordia UK, the organization responsible for the recruitment and placement of the farm workers, told members of the media there is a thorough process to vet farms before workers are sent there.

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“Concordia UK only works with the most ethical farms in the UK. We do check that any workers who goes anywhere with Concordia will be going to excellent farms.

“No worker will ever go to a farm that has not been thoroughly audited. That includes health and safety, pay slips, legal standing, absolutely everything from A to Z is checked. We stop working with farms if they don’t meet our legal standards… we also have independent worker surveys to give anonymous feedback.”

Maurel explained Concordia UK looks after 10,000 farm workers across the United Kingdom and those workers from Barbados will be provided with every avenue to ensure they are comfortable and well-looked after. 

“Anything that is an issue that we can do something about, anytime day or night, we will do something about it. They have all sorts of options should anything happen and they are made aware of their rights so any worker is our number priority."

Head of CJNM Consulting, Christopher Griffith- the company responsible for selecting the workers- said he is very impressed with the quality of persons who are being interviewed for the program. 

He explained the minimum wage in the UK is £8.71 per hour and workers can work overtime is they so desire. 

“Over the six months, people can earn a lot more than what they would earn in Barbados in a year. You don’t have to do any over time so if someone only wants to do 40 hours a week, then they are fine with that." 

This is the first time the UK government has allowed farmers to recruit workers from outside Europe and Barbados is the only English-speaking country included in the program. 

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