The influx of migrant workers to the UK has boosted the economy and is not having an adverse affect on jobs and wages, according to a report by the TUC.
The Economics of Migration report argues that migrant workers are paying more in taxes than the value of the public services they receive.
But the TUC said the government needed to stop unscrupulous employers taking advantage of migrant workers’ lack of knowledge of their rights and poor English.
Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary, said: “Migrant workers are making a substantial contribution to Britain’s economy, and some sectors would collapse if they were removed overnight. They haven’t caused mass unemployment or held wages down as some would have us believe.
“But we do not do enough to protect vulnerable workers, whether migrant or indigenous, from exploitation. If migrant workers are treated fairly and paid a decent wage they can only add to the economy, and pose no threat to the livelihoods of the rest of the workforce.”
The UK has seen an influx of migrant workers from eastern Europe since 2004, when a host of new countries joined the European Union.