Fife migrant seasonal workers to benefit from new support helpline
Fife Migrants Forum and the Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RSABI) are working in partnership to provide a helpline for seasonal farm workers in Scotland.
The pilot scheme, which offers free, impartial and confidential support for migrant workers, has been set up to help workers overcome any problems they may face whilst living and working in Scotland.
The partnership also provides workers with emotional, practical, and financial support as well as any issues relating to clothing, accommodation, food poverty, and working conditions.
The helpline will be available to call from 5-8pm Monday to Friday, and 10.30am-2pm Saturday to Sunday with a call back service also available by completing an online form.
Iryna Petkevica, caseworker seasonal workers helpline with Fife Migrants Forum, said: “Last year the Scottish Government had asked the Fife Migrants Forum and Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX) to carry out research concerning seasonal migrant workers.
"After carrying out the report we presented the findings and one of the recommendations was to create and establish a helpline for seasonal workers.
"The aim of the helpline is to support agricultural workers, whether they be farm hands or farmers, the service is there to provide emotional, practical, and financial support.
"Myself and my colleague, Margarita Permonaite, work on the helpline to collate calls before passing the information to a caseworker who then decides what kind of support we can offer.
"We can help workers with a whole host of different solutions to any problem that they may be facing, be it how to set up National Insurance or even how to register at their local doctor’s surgery.”
Iryna adds that the helpline is available in a range of different languages to make the process easier for seasonal workers to seek support.
"People can scan a QR code on our leaflet which will then take them to a YouTube video that includes the most common languages of seasonal workers,” she added.
"The video gives information on all of the services that we offer – there are a lot of people who come to work in Scotland who don’t have very good English, we want to help these people and to ease the burden that they feel when they are seeking support.”