Report exploitation

Slavery can happen anywhere. From car washes to nail bars, building sites to hotels.

In the UK, we’d consider that you’re being exploited if you:

  • receive no wage, or a very low wage, for your work.
  • work excessively long hours.
  • are forced to work or perform sexual acts.
  • are being held captive or against your will.
  • are being controlled by others (including relatives, friends or partners).
  • can’t leave your residence, you’re being watched and / or you can’t move about freely.
  • have been brought to the UK to work for someone who is now threatening, frightening, hurting or forcing you to do work or other things that you don’t want to do.

Local support available in Hertfordshire

Your rights as a worker in the UK

Get help

If you are being exploited in the UK, you are entitled to receive independent, emotional, medical and practical help from the UK Government.

Read the HMSP Survivor Handbook for further information. This document has been translated into 1. Albanian, 2. Bulgarian, 3. Chinese (Mandarin), 4. Latvian, 5. Lithuanian, 6. Polish, 7. Romani, 8. Romanian, 9. Slovak, 10. Vietnamese. Translations in Arabic, Bengali and Urdu coming soon.

This support can be provided in several different ways, including:

  • finding you temporary safe accommodation.
  • helping you with medical treatment.
  • having someone to help you cope with your experience.
  • providing an interpreter/translator to help you communicate in English.
  • police protection, if you report your exploitative situation to them.
  • independent legal advice.
  • subsistence payments.

Please Note: There are sometimes limitations to this support.

UK Government Official Support System: The National Referral Mechanism

The UK Government has created a system called the National Referral Mechanism, which allows for support to be provided by the state on a confidential basis.

By consenting to being referred through this system, your case will be investigated, and if it is understood that you are being exploited, you will be offered help and protection from the UK Government.

Beacon Support Service

If you do not want to involve the UK government or the police, then Hertfordshire has a local, confidential support service, called Beacon.

Independent from the National Referral Mechanism, UK Government and the police, this free and impartial service can provide emotional and practical support around the impact and effects of exploitation to you in Hertfordshire.

More about Beacon Support Service


Email: [email protected]

Phone: 03000 11 55 55 (option 3)

Legal Advice

It is recommended to seek legal advice as soon as possible. Contact the ATLEU advice line for free support via phone: 0207 700 7311.

To search for a legal aid lawyer:

To check if you are eligible for legal aid:




To check client feedback of a legal firm or lawyer: (Chamber and Partners Directoryof Lawyers)

You may need advice in several different, including the following:

  • 1. Immigration
  • 2. Compensation
  • 3. Welfare
  • 4. Housing
  • 5. Community Care
  • 6. Family
  • 7. Public Law
  • 8. Criminal Law
  • 9. Entering the National Referral Mechanism
  • 10. Repatriation and Voluntary Returns