Letter: Risky work abroad

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The Independent Culture
Sir: To suggest that Britain's expatriates risk life and limb solely for "loadsamoney" ("Cash lure can outweigh risks", 6 October) is an insult to aid workers Camilla Carr and John James, released from captivity in Chechnya two weeks ago. John Davison ignores altruism in the aid sector - where many work for little or no salary - and economic reality in, for example, the UK health sector, where pitiful pay drives professionals abroad.

Good employers may have international health and safety policies but employment legislation seldom applies outside the UK. Leaving it to staff "to look after themselves when they are out there", as Patricia Holgate suggests, may, however, be less of an option for employers when the 1998 Public Interest Disclosure Act comes into force. The new Act protects employees who raise concerns about a range of issues at work, including danger to health and safety. It will apply to anyone on a British employment contract, whether they work in Chelmsford or Chechnya.

SARA DAVIDSON

People In Aid

London SW1

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