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Modern Slavery

Spotting the 11 Red Flags for Labour Exploitation

By Staffline

To help raise awareness for Anti-Slavery Day, we've drawn on our varied experiences and expertise in law enforcement and fraud investigation to create a framework of 'Spotting the 11 Red Flags of Labour Exploitation'. Our advice to all of our employees is to not only look for these abnormalities within potential victims but to also look for an absence of normality.

Staffline has a dedicated compliance investigation team, who's role it is not only to protect our workforce from labour exploitation but to also educate and empower our staff, clients and partners to spot the signs that act as potential pre-cursors to modern day slavery.

By simply developing strong working relationships with your workers, you will easily be able to spot if a colleague is in trouble or may need your help.

Staffline regularly work in collaboration with agencies such as GLAA, Police, NCA and a number of NGOs and charities to help raise awareness of modern slavery in the UK.

To download your free, printable PDF copy, click here


1. Shared Mobile Numbers & Contact Details

Look out for workers that share mobile numbers with other people/workers. Unless they share a number with a family member, it could be suspicious.

2. Multiple Applications Submitted by One Worker

All application forms should be completed individually by each applicant only. Multiple submissions could be the result of previously failed applications.

3. Someone Introducing a Suspicious Amount of Workers to the Employer/Workplace

Naturally, workers tend to refer friends and family members to work with them. It should only become suspicious if they are introducing multiple people to work.

4. A Considerable Rise of One Particular Nationality

If there is a sudden rise of one particular nationality, it may be worth looking into. It’s typical for gang leaders to organise mass introductions, usually of the same nationality.

5. One Worker Providing Food and Drinks for Other Workers

Unless it’s clearly a friendly gesture, if a worker is seen giving food or drinks to a co-worker, this should be flagged immediately. This is a common sign of slavery.

6. Unkempt Physical Appearance

If a worker shows signs of injury and/or malnourishment, this should be looked into on a personal level. Other things to look out for are worn or ill-fitted clothing.

7. Concern from other Workers (Including Factory-Floor Chat)

Rumours tend to spread frequently in any workplace, but if a worker has genuine concern as a result of what he/she has heard, it’s worth investigating.

8. Shared Bank Accounts

Bank accounts should only ever really be shared between partners/family members. If multiple co-workers share the same bank details, further questioning should be applied. Check their application forms - make sure that their surnames match or they know the account holder on a personal level.

9. Large Groups of Workers Sharing Transport

Look out for large groups of workers arriving or leaving work in a minibus or van. More often than not, it will be an old vehicle which is most likely uninsured.

10. Multiple Housing Occupancy

It’s important to look out for multiple workers occupying the same address (unless they are family members). Anywhere over 4 occupants at the same residence is worth questioning, especially if they all have different surnames.

11. Is the Person in Front of You Who They Say They Are?

Always check your workers ID picture and date of birth. It’s common for siblings who look alike to share ID cards.


To find out how your company can benefit from our understanding, contact Staffline today.

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An Overview of Staffline:

Established in 1986, Staffline is now the UK’s largest recruiter and workforce provider, delivering OnSite workforce solutions to leading brands. We work in partnership with clients and candidates, meeting business needs and matching people with opportunities.

We specialise in large-scale recruitment, providing teams to help businesses succeed. Our support is flexible to meet changing demands.

We make the world of work simple, helping companies to find the right people and perform at their best. Our service and pricing are bespoke, and we offer complete protection on compliance and ethical standards.

Our OnSite services support a range of sectors including agriculture, food production, logistics, transport, manufacturing and the automotive sector. We’re based at over 400 sites nationwide and find work for over 60,000 people each day.

Our new technologies include the AI chat bot, delivering ‘always on’ communication, the Universe platform, a game-changing candidate interface, and industry-leading customer experience management programme ‘Have your Say’. These innovations drive our customer-centric approach. We lead where others follow.

The Staffline Group also includes leading public service provider PeoplePlus - which helps tens of thousands of unemployed and disadvantaged people find work each year.

Find out more at: www.staffline.co.uk

by Staffline

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