Revoked licence holder prosecuted
12th March 2012
On 29 February 2012 James Hindmarsh pleaded guilty to acting as an unlicensed gangmaster at Leeds Magistrates Court. He was fined £600, ordered to pay £4440 costs, and disqualified from being a Director of a company for 2 years.
During the case the GLA prosecution served a notice under section 2 Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986, leading to the disqualification.
This step was taken due to the nature of the unlicensed trading and the previous history of trading and closure of predecessor companies.
James Hindmarsh initially held a licence for Aadept Recruitment Services from 2006 until it went into liquidation in November 2008. In July 2008 James Hindmarsh’s son applied for a licence for Aadept People, which was awarded in September. James Hindmarsh became a Director of the second company in May 2009, and Samuel Hindmarsh resigned as a Director of the company the following day. In November 2009 James Hinmarsh applied for a further licence for AP Managed Services, and indicated that Aadept People would shortly cease trading, with contracts transferring to the new company. The GLA refused to issue a licence to James Hindmarsh for AP Managed Services in February 2010, and revoked the licence of Aadept Services in March 2010. Further enquiries by the GLA identified that Hindmarsh had continued to trade from March to May 2010 without a licence. Hindmarsh admitted running both companies without a licence.
Margaret McKinlay, Chair of the GLA said:
“It was clear that Hindmarsh was not fit to hold a GLA licence. Despite the refusal and revocation of licences for companies he ran he continued trading. The history of his companies indicates a pattern which we associate with phoenix companies, which we will not tolerate. This disregard for the law warranted prosecution.
This is the first case where we have secured a Company Director’s disqualification. It represents a change in approach to tackle such individuals. We will not hesitate to do so again.
It also demonstrates how we can work effectively with partner enforcement organisations, learning from them, and their approaches. In this case advice from the Insolvency Service greatly assisted the outcome we achieved.”
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. The Act establishing it was passed in 2004.
2. Protecting workers is the key aim alongside protecting legitimate labour providers and protecting the tax payer by uncovering unpaid taxes.3. The GLA regulate the supply of workers and labour services to any of the regulated sectors in the UK.
4. It is a criminal offence to provide labour in the industries regulated by the GLA without a licence. It is also an offence to use labour provided by unlicensed labour providers.
5. The GLA assess compliance against its Licensing Standards which reflects UK legislation, including Forced Labour Offence. Licensing Standard 1.1 covers whether a person is “Fit & Proper” to hold a licence.
6. In December 2009 a new offence of forced labour was introduced in England and Wales, and Northern Ireland. It became an offence in Scotland in August 2010. GLA guidance on the offences can be found in GLA Brief 9.
7. The GLA is committed to the Governments regulatory principles, and does not conduct inspections without reason where potential risks may be identified.
End Public enquiries: 0845 602 5020
Media enquiries: 0845 602 5020