LSI’s member FLEX, published recently the working paper ‘If I Could Change Anything About My Work…’ Participatory Research With Cleaners In The UK, exploring the experiences and drivers of labour abuse and exploitation in three understudied low-paid sectors of the economy in the UK: cleaning, hospitality and the app-based courier sector. The publication provides unique evidence of labour abuses and risks faced by workers in cleaning.
For the research FLEX made use of a feminist participatory action research (FPAR) approach, which involves workers at every stage of the research process, from design to data collection and analysis. This has enabled workers to shape the research findings and recommendations, including those who are at high-risk of exploitation but less frequently represented in policy research. Workers have a wealth of knowledge about what leads to and drives labour abuse and exploitation in the cleaning sector. They reported pay violations and dangerous working conditions, lack of access to social security such as sick pay, and experiences of sexual harassment. FLEX hopes that by bringing this knowledge to the attention of policymakers a meaningful change on the ground can start. See full report.