Correspondent unions say the Government’s Illegal Migration Bill is a gift to “dodgy employers”.
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) said the legislation could lead to more migrant workers being exploited in the underground economy – a problem it says is already “rampant”.
It says the Bill would leave nearly 200,000 asylum seekers in limbo indefinitely by trapping them in temporary accommodation, while they are not allowed to have their asylum claims heard and the vast majority are unable to officially work.
The TUC also accused the Government of “turning its back” on modern slavery victims, saying the Bill would have a huge impact on transport workers.
TUC general secretary Paul Nowak said: “Exploitation of migrant workers is already rampant but this Bill will make a bad situation much, much worse.
“From unpaid wages, to debt traps and forced labour to being sacked without notice, this Bill will give rogue employers the green light to exploit migrant workers without fear of repercussion.
“This will create a race to the bottom for everyone.
“Make no mistake – the Government is turning its back on people who need our help the most, including modern slavery victims.
“This legislation is deplorable and very likely unlawful.
“It’s time for the Government to drop this nasty Bill and give all asylum seekers the right to work to clamp down on rogue employers who are looking to profit from exploitation.”