A new information campaign aimed at raising awareness of the employment rights of vulnerable workers has been launched by the government.

The move is part of a wider effort to tackle the abuse of vulnerable workers by rogue employers and stems from recommendations made by the Vulnerable Worker Enforcement Forum.

A special helpline will be set up allowing employees to report mistreatment or discrimination at work, while a new body – the Fair Employment Enforcement Board – will be set up to co-ordinate the work of existing government agencies involved in different areas of employment law.

Employment relations minister Pat McFadden said it is "vital" to ensure that employment rights for vulnerable workers are properly enforced.

"We want to prevent unscrupulous employers who undercut honest competition and prey on people who are fearful or so desperate to earn a living that they are open to exploitation," he remarked.

In May the Trades Union Congress published a report titled Hard Work, Hidden Lives which examined the issues surrounding vulnerable employment and made recommendations on how government, unions, employers and civil society organisations can work together to tackle exploitation.