A 'more effective' compliance strategy following public consultation
9th September 2021
The GLAA has developed a more effective compliance strategy after many of you took the time to tell us how we can maintain an effective licensing scheme and prevent labour abuse.
We carried out a public consultation at the beginning of the year; we listened to what you had to say and made some important changes to our compliance strategy.
Some key changes include:
- A commitment to do more compliance activity and specifically to inspect every licence-holder over a five year rolling period
- The majority of application inspections to be carried out virtually
- Providing more help and advice for our licence-holders, and training to build compliance
- Exploring news ways to get feedback from workers using technology
- Conducting more compliance activity using different approaches such as awareness visits, informal resolution of issues, thematic reviews, unannounced spot checks, days of action etc
This should mean that stakeholders see:
- We are operating more efficiently and delivering a better service
- They should expect to hear from us more often
- They have access to help and advice
- A streamlined processes
Compliance is a crucial part of how the GLAA functions in protecting vulnerable and exploited workers.
The GLAA operates a licensing scheme to regulate the provision of workers for roles in the UK fresh produce sector - agriculture, horticulture, shellfish gathering and any associated food processing and packaging. Anyone supplying workers into these sectors requires a GLAA licence.
Labour providers are assessed through compliance inspections to check they meet the GLAA licensing standards which cover health and safety, accommodation, pay, transport and training.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, all new applicants were subject to onsite inspections by GLAA officers to ensure that they were fit to be licence holders.
However, when restrictions were introduced in March 2020, the GLAA successfully moved to virtual, desk-based application inspections.
The application process is as rigorous as before, with the same identification and competency checks conducted but with time saved through reduced travel and paperwork.
Retaining this virtual method of assessing applications will allow us to focus more of our limited resources on compliance inspections, particularly where there is intelligence indicating breaches of the licensing standards and more serious exploitation of workers.
To read the GLAA's response to the consultation, click the link below.