British company Gloriavd Health Care accused of exploiting African social workers

BRITISH care company Gloriavd Health Care serving the National Health Service (NHS) has been accused of exploiting African migrant workers buy charging them thousands of pounds to come and work in the UK when the cost of a visa is only a few hundred pounds.


Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, the UK has had a phenomenal increase in the demand for social care workers and has subsequently had to source them from abroad. This has led to a surge in the number of healthcare and social care workers from developing nations across Africa and Asia, applying to work in the UK.


Apparently, care workers from Zimbabwe were told to pay the sums to Gloriavd Health Care Ltd in return for arranging social care jobs in and around Leeds and Bath. They also claimed they were given far less paid work than they had been led to expect, were housed in overcrowded rooms and faced a threat that their conduct could be reported to the Home Office, leading them to fear deportation if they complained.


One woman alleged she sold her home in rural South Africa to pay £6,500 in fees to the company operated by Gloria Van Dunem only to find she and her colleagues had so little work they had to rely on food banks.


Winnet Mushaninga, 40, a qualified care worker from Zimbabwe, said: “She took all that I had. The trauma and suffering was too much. We paid a lot of money. It’s just painful.”


In 2022,  the Home Office added care workers to the UK’s shortage occupation list to help fill 165,000 vacancies in care homes and domiciliary care units. However, since then, there has been rising concern about the exploitation of the immigration route by some social care and employment agencies.


Ms Mushaninga for instance said she was recruited directly from Africa by Gloriavd and understood the fee would cover the cost of the visa and the certificate of sponsorship as well as two months’ accommodation and access to a full-time job. However, on arrival in Britain last April, Ms Mushaninga alleged she had to live squeezed four to a room with mattresses on the floor, earning just £20 a day and ended up feeding herself from a church food bank.


Britain's Home Office charges no more than £551 for a visa for care workers and the cost of a sponsor licence for a small company to bring in foreign care workers is £536. Ms Mushaninga is among several care workers in Yorkshire being supported by the Leeds branch of Acorn, a community union that is running a Carers Fight Back campaign not only to win back justice, compensation and job security for our members that have worked for Gloriavd, but for every worker across the UK that is experiencing this injustice.


Gloriavd Health Care was set up by Gloria Van Dunem in 2020 and is registered with the Care Quality Commission, which rates it as requires improvement. The NHS Integrated Care Board in Leeds said it has awarded the firm two consecutive contracts making it an approved provider to deliver care in people’s homes.


However, Ms Van Dunem’s lawyer said she did not accept money from care workers in exchange for facilitating their relocation to the UK. She added that they had seen evidence that the matters put to their client were wholly inaccurate and lacked any basis in truth.