Lack of cooperation leads to refusal of Yorkshire agency licence
10th June 2014
A major West Yorkshire recruitment business was refused a licence by the GLA after refusing to provide sufficient details relating to its travel and expenses scheme.
Qualitycourse Ltd, of Halifax Road, Brighouse - part of the Transline Group - supplied temporary workers to assemble pizzas for the retail sector.
Providing workers to perform roles in food processing requires a licence from the GLA.
The company had held a licence since 2006 but allowed it to lapse through an administration error in July last year. A fresh application was submitted in which the company stated that it turns over around £1 million in the food processing sector alone.
However, when told an inspection of the company’s practices was required for the new licence, Qualitycourse requested that the new application be treated in isolation.
The company stated it did not want the GLA to look into the compliance of the company under its previous licence.
Throughout the subsequent inspection process, the business was obstructive and proved reluctant to provide any information about its operations under the lapsed licence.
The GLA established that a ‘salary sacrifice’ scheme was in operation at Qualitycourse – an agreement where an employee gives up the right to receive part of their pay, in this case in exchange for a reduction in taxable pay.
Qualitycourse considered that the details requested about the scheme from the company about worker records and an apprenticeship programme being operated by the company were ‘not relevant’ to the GLA’s judgment.
However, the GLA has a statutory responsibility and power to require any information to determine how workers are or will be treated to decide whether a company is compliant with it licensing standards.
Failure to provide the information that will allow a fully-informed licence decision to be made is therefore in contravention of those standards.
For obstructing the inspection process, the GLA decided that the named Principal Authority on the licence, Colin Beasley, and other named directors of Qualitycourse had failed the ‘fit and proper’ person test. This is a critical requirement for a GLA licence.
Another issue uncovered included workers not being paid for attending induction sessions, which failed another standard.
Qualitycourse (t/a Transline Group) did not appeal the decision and the deadline for doing so has now passed.
A separate application submitted by Transline Europe Limited was also refused as directors who had failed the ‘fit and proper’ test for Qualitycourse were also named on this company’s board of the new company.
Press release issued by GLA Communications and Information Officer Paul Fearn. For more information contact 0115 959 7069 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to editors
1. The GLA operates throughout the UK and is a Non Departmental Public Body.
2. The authority was formed in 2005 in the wake of the Morecambe Bay cockle picking disaster when 23 Chinese workers drowned on the sands.
3. The GLA licences companies that supply labour (gangmasters) to agriculture, horticulture, food processing and packaging and shellfish gathering.
4. Its main strategic priorities are to prevent worker exploitation, protect vulnerable people and tackle unlicensed and criminal activity.
5. Under the Gangmasters Licensing Act (2004) it is illegal both to operate as, or employ the services of, an unlicensed gangmaster.