Leicestershire care provider given slavery order from GLAA

The owner of a Leicestershire-based home care service provider has been handed a Slavery and Trafficking Risk Order (STRO).

Leicester Magistrates’ Court approved an application from the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) for an interim order against Patience Oyeniran at a hearing last week (22 November).

Oyeniran, of Colby Road, Leicester, manages Panashe Home Care Services, providing domiciliary care to people living with physical health needs and conditions such as dementia. The order was sought after a number of concerns were raised alleging the exploitation of overseas workers, a GLAA statement said.

Under the conditions of the civil order, Oyeniran must not transport or arrange to transport any worker or prospective worker to the UK who is not registered as a UK national. She must also not transport anyone within the UK to and from their place of work. The order does not apply to five of Oyeniran’s family members, the GLAA statement said.

She must also not accommodate or arrange accommodation for any worker or prospective worker who is not registered as a UK national and has come to the UK from abroad. As with the first restriction, the same five family members are exempt from the order.

Finally, Oyeniran must not open or close any business interests in the UK involving the recruitment or employment of any staff without notifying the GLAA, the statement went on to say.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) cancelled Panashe’s registration in 2022 following an inspection that found there were not enough staff to provide the required care for people, the statement said. Overseas staff were scheduled to provide unrealistic hours of care, which meant inspectors were not always assured people were receiving the care and support they needed.

Leicestershire County Council terminated its contract with Panashe for care packages in the county. UK Visas and Immigration also revoked Oyeniran’s licence to recruit workers from overseas.

Further investigations involving the GLAA and Leicestershire Police have shown Oyeniran may have links to other companies who supply workers in the care sector, “potentially placing vulnerable workers at risk of exploitation”, the statement said.

Criminal investigations are ongoing and a hearing for the interim order against Oyeniran to be upgraded to a full order will be held next year.

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