If this is true that – as people say – ‘time is money’ then Stefan, a Polish migrant worker is a millionaire. He’s got plenty of time. Absolutely nothing to do. That’s it. He broke his leg and now – his leg in plaster – he is house-bound, bed-ridden, jobless, motionless. And quite hopeless as well. No sick pay. No access to NHS. Though he has been in Southampton for nearly 2 years, he formally does not exist. He has no National Insurance Number – his boss told him not to bother. No WRS registration – his boss said that there was no point. No bank account – his boss said that there was no need. No contract, no payslip – ‘you will get a pink slip if you won’t stop nagging me’ said the boss. Losing this job would mean losing accommodation as well – the boss employs only people who rent a room in one of his many overcrowded houses. So Stefan stopped nagging. And that’s why he has ended up where he is now: nowhere.
There are still to many of these potential ‘millionaires’. These invisible workers who confuse statistics, do not appear in any records and disappear in the dimness of illegality which suits some dishonest employers.
Some of them come to us, at S.O.S. Polonia when there is still time to do something about it.
Some come too late.