The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has called for action over Britain’s vulnerable workers.

According to the trade body, there are 1.2 million women in the UK who are trapped in a cycle of low-paid and insecure work where it is normal for them to be mistreated.

A Commission on Vulnerable Employment, released earlier this week by the TUC, suggests that 62 per cent of vulnerable workers are female, with many experiencing employment practices that were "attacked as exploitative in the 19th century".

"All the commissioners – whatever their backgrounds – were shocked at just how vulnerable some workers are in today’s Britain. Their treatment is a national scandal and we need urgent action," stated TUC general secretary Brendan Barber.

He added that the mistreatment of women at work impacts on the whole family and damages community ties.

Last month, Mr Barber described research which suggested that bosses view pregnant employees as an inconvenience as "shocking".