Living with Dignity
We want all Latin Americans to thrive and lead fulfilling lives with dignity.
However, a high proportion of people from Latin American communities have been living in financial precarity in the UK for many years, which has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the current cost of living crisis. This lack of financial stability and pre-existing invisibility complicates their access to essential services, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation and in-work poverty.
Employment Conditions and Labour Rights
Despite having a high rate of employment (85%) and a higher level of education compared to the London average (with nearly 70% having attained tertiary/university education relative to 34% in the general population), the majority of Latin Americans in the UK often find themselves working in low-paid jobs within cleaning, catering, and hospitality services. Language proficiency barriers and discrimination further contribute to the potential for workplace exploitation. As such, Latin Americans face challenges in advocating for themselves when confronting precarious employment and in-work poverty, as these sectors lack regulations and are characterised by extremely poor working conditions.
The No Longer Invisible study highlights the extent of workplace abuse faced by Latin American workers. It shows a staggering 40% of reported abuse, while at least 11% have been subjected to illegal payments below the National Minimum Wage. This rate is ten times higher than the average for the UK population, which stands at 1.1%.
In its unwavering commitment to implementing the recommendations outlined in the No Longer Invisible report, CLAUK has built impactful collaborations with key campaigns, labour-focused groups, mainstream unions, and legal centres. These partnerships have been instrumental in raising awareness and empowering Latin American workers to assert their labour rights.
Notably, the “Know Your Labour Rights” campaign, supported by prominent unions and law centres, has played a pivotal role in informing statutory agencies, conducting vital research, and advocating for improved working conditions. CLAUK’s remarkable achievements include the national recognition of the Latin American category by UNISON, the invaluable support received from Unite in creating informative materials, and the far-reaching impact of our events and training sessions, which have successfully reached and educated as many as 40,000 individuals about their rights.