After going through the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the Modern Slavery Bill has now reached the "report stage" which means that proposed amendments to the bill are being considered. The final chance to amend the Bill (i.e third reading) is scheduled for 4 March 2015.
But what needs to be amended?
In April 2012, the UK Government reformed some of the immigration and visa rules that apply to overseas workers. One of these reforms led to the unfortunate "tied visa" system. As a result of this system, migrant domestic workers cannot change employers once they get their visa.
Unsurprisingly, this locked system has led to a lot of abuse and lack of support for the victims of these different forms of abuse. As Human Rights Watch highlights it, the tied visa "forces migrant workers either to stay with an abusive employer or to become undocumented if they leave".
The Migrants' Rights Network summarises the scope of this amendment: "Domestic workers would be allowed to change employers, but not work sector, remaining limited to one full time job as a domestic worker in a private household. Annual visa renewals would be dependent on proving ongoing work and demand for their labour. For those found to having been ‘a victim of modern slavery’ there would be a temporary three month visa, allowing them to find decent alternative work."