The Equality and Human Rights Commission started gathering evidence this week as part of an inquiry into the employment and recruitment practices in the meat and poultry processing industry.
Launched back in February, the Meat and Poultry Processing Inquiry seeks to identify differences in pay and conditions between agency and temporary workers – many of who are migrants – and employees with permanent or directly employed status.
This week, the Commission, working with market research agency GfK NOP, started sending out questionnaires to meat and poultry processing firms. A separate questionnaire is being sent agencies that provide staff to the industry.
Neil Wooding, lead commissioner for the inquiry said: “We’re launching this questionnaire because we want to fully understand how employment and recruitment works in this sector.
“We need to be aware of the opportunities and constraints which affect the use of labour in the sector, the pressures faced in the current economic climate and the sector’s good practice in recruiting and deploying staff.
“To make practical and meaningful recommendations, we are engaging with employers, labour providers and their representatives and listening to their views and experiences.”
The Commission will ensure that the information gained from the questionnaires is used to highlight what works and what could be improved in the sector’s use of labour and to consider ways in which good practice examples can be developed across the board.
Questionnaires are being sent out this week and need to be returned by 21 August.