Skip to main content

Migrant Workers: Domestic Service

Question for Home Office

UIN 174858, tabled on 24 March 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if the Government will take steps to tackle serious exploitation and abuse of migrant domestic workers by restoring the visa that was in place between 1998 to 2012 under which migrant domestic workers were workers in their own right and therefore able to (a) renew their visa and (b) change employer without restrictions.

Answered on

19 April 2021

The Government does not intend to reinstate the visa category for Domestic Workers in a Private Household, which closed to new arrivals in April 2012.

The Overseas Domestic Worker (ODW) visa provides for domestic workers in a private household to accompany their employer, where their employer is visiting the UK. The ODW visa is valid for a maximum of 6 months and ODWs are expected to leave the UK at the end of their stay, in line with the purpose of the route.

ODWs are permitted to change employer at any time, for any reason, during the validity of their visa. A dedicated process exists for victims of modern slavery who entered the UK as a domestic worker. In addition to support provided by the Single Competent Authority, via the National Referral Mechanism, migrant domestic worker victims of modern slavery can apply for permission to stay for up to two additional years.

Answered by

Home Office