Top firms to tackle worker exploitation

Land Securities, Serco and Jaeger are among the firms who have agreed to join the Trades Union Congress (TUC) to try to tackle the problem of exploitation of employees.

Some of the issues that need to be addressed include unreasonably long working hours, poor pay and health and safety breaches. The TUC says that as many as one employee in five could be suffering poor conditions at work.

Paul Myners, the chair of property group Land Securities, Belinda Earl, chief executive of high street retailer Jaeger, and Kevin Beston, chief executive of engineering firm Serco, have all joined a new commission, which will investigate the issue.

Solicitors will be keeping a close eye on proceedings, as the commission will also look at improving legal protection for workers.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber, who is also part of the commission, said in the Times: "Most people will have the odd grumble about their job, but are treated fairly most of the time. But some workers still experience rank exploitation that Charles Dickens would recognise. Most of the time their experience is hidden, but we have had a recent rash of shocking exposures of poor treatment.

"Our new commission plans shine a light on Britain's hidden exploited workers, and work out what the government, employers and unions should be doing to protect them."

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