Seasonal workers and modern slavery

COVID-19 update on seasonal workers

  • Farmers Weekly – How to find seasonal workers on farms, click here.
  • BBC – Foreign workers fly in to train UK farm pickers, click here.
  • Financial Times – Seasonal workers flown to UK for the Spring and Summer harvest, click here.
  • Farmers Guardian – Seasonal worker shortages felt across the world, click here.

COVID-19 update on EU National Workers:

It is important to consider the risks associated with EU farm workers returning home whilst the pandemic is still going on:

  • Regulations may be different between your host country and your home country including: self isolation on arrival and limitation on movement and travel.
  • You may find yourself ‘stuck’ or turned aware from countries you are travelling through – especially if travelling by car.
  • Regulations are constantly changing in the UK which could lead to disruption in travel arrangements, delayed return to UK, requirement for isolation or return.

To protect the health of your team on the farm an isolation period may be suggested to returning employees.

Seasonal working, modern day slavery and labour exploitation is becoming a growing concern in the agricultural industry. The number of slavery cases is growing within the food and agricultural industry with an estimated 10,000-13,000 people being exploited.

The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) have written a report, concluding the agricultural industry to be a high risk sector for exploitation and abuse of seasonal workers, including poor wages and working conditions. Click here to view report or download below.

  • The Farmers Weekly have published an article on modern slavery in agriculture, click here to view. Revealing the challenges that seem very unique to seasonal workers.
  • Farming UK article on modern-day slavery in the UK agricultural industry, click here to view.

Report issues of a labour provider who is exploiting the welfare and rights of workers, click here to view report forms.


  • If you think you’ve identified a trafficker or illegal gangmaster call the police on 101
  • For advice on how you can avoid employing victims of trafficking and how you can help ensure your supply chain is slave free visit
  • If you think you work with or employ someone who may be a victim of Modern Slavery or forced labour you can call a helpline on 0800 0121 700 and talk through your concerns or visit


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