Two year ban for Kent gangmaster who attempted to breach work permit restrictions.
10th November 2009
A Gravesend gangmaster has had his licence refused as running a gangmaster business would breach the conditions of his work permit.
Intelligence checks revealed that Mr Vinay Sharma, who intended to run Skyhawk Services Ltd to provide workers into the GLA regulated sector, was only granted leave to remain in the UK on the understanding he was to work for another company as an Office Systems Manager.
The GLA concluded that if Mr Sharma worked in a capacity other than for which leave was granted, he would breach the conditions of his work permit. The application for a licence was therefore refused and Mr Sharma has been declared as ‘not fit and proper’ to hold a GLA licence, which will mean a two year ban from acting as a gangmaster.
Paul Whitehouse, Chairman of the GLA said:
“ No one should attempt to breach their work permit restrictions. We always check applicants for a licence to ensure they have the right to work as a gangmaster.“
Notes to editors
1. The Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) was set up to curb the exploitation of workers in the agricultural, horticultural, shellfish gathering and associated processing and packing industries.
2. The majority of workers involved in these industries come from countries such as: Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Pakistan and Portugal.
3. So far, 1,185 labour providers hold a GLA licence. Over 100 licenses have been revoked (8 with immediate effect). Two people and one business has been prosecuted for operating without a licence, with more prosecutions forthcoming.
4. The GLA stepped up its fight against those who abuse workers with the launch of Operation Ajax in June 2008. The operation was set up to increase the GLA’s activities with an 18 month programme of unannounced raids.
5. Interviews are available by contacting 0115 900 8962
6. Anybody who would like advice on their employment rights or who would like to complain about exploitation in any sector of the economy should contact the Pay and Work Rights Helpline on 0800 917 2368 or textphone 0800 121 4042.
7. Anybody who is aware of exploitation should contact the GLA on 0845 602 5020 or report anonymously at www.gla.gov.uk/report
Public enquiries: 0845 602 5020
Media enquiries: 0115 900 8962