As a survey in Construction News reveals that one third of London’s EU workers go unpaid and suffer abuse it is likely that in an industry which already suffers from a dire skill shortage, prospects for improvement are slim with the combination of poor treatment and Brexit looming.
With more than 45% of construction workers on sites in London coming from overseas, the fact that migrant EU construction workers have not been paid for work and 33% have experienced verbal or physical abuse means that immediate action is required from all construction industry employers, especially developers and suppliers.
Anne Timpany, Co Founder and Director of award winning commercial plumbing, heating installation and maintenance company On Tap Plumbers says “ 50% of our team are from abroad and we treat everyone equally and fairly. I am shocked and appalled by the statistics in this survey and also the health and safety infringements. Just because someone you’re employing might not have great command of the English language and doesn’t want to lose their job if they complain, it doesn’t give anyone the right to mistreat their workers.
“The retention of good people is a problem throughout our industry and at On Tap we aim to create loyalty and increased productivity with the best working conditions, teamwork, camaraderie and an appreciation of peoples’ skills and talents, as well as paying them well and having the highest possible health and safety standards.
“You will never get the best out of people if you don’t treat them well. Abusive bullying behaviour has no place in our industry and must be stamped out. We simply can’t afford to lose the construction workers we have and it certainly won’t encourage more EU nationals or migrants from further afield to bring their much needed skills and expertise to the UK.”