Labour market powers used in Somerset
20th August 2020
Investigators from the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) have used legal powers to prevent a Romanian woman from supplying workers without a licence.
The 32-year-old living in Bridgwater has been served with a Labour Market Enforcement Undertaking (LMEU) after attempting to provide up to 30 workers to two recruitment agencies in Somerset and Devon.
The Gangmasters (Licensing) Act requires people to have a licence to provide workers in the GLAA regulated sectors of agriculture, horticulture, shellfish gathering, food processing and associated packaging.
LMEUs were introduced as part of the Immigration Act in November 2016. They are one of a number of tools available to the GLAA and other enforcement bodies to prevent exploitation in the labour market.
The undertakings are imposed to prevent further non-compliance when someone breaches the law and feature a signed agreement to comply with the GLAA and its rules.
GLAA Senior Investigating Officer Andy Davies said: “Anyone who supplies workers into our regulated sectors must have a GLAA licence by law. This is important as it provides safeguards for those at risk of exploitation and ensures that workers get what they deserve.
“In this case, while there was no indication of modern slavery or labour exploitation, there were clear concerns about the number of workers involved. If we find evidence that our licensing scheme is not being followed, either deliberately or more simply through ignorance of the legislation, we will not hesitate to take appropriate action.
“Tackling non-compliance ensures that there is a level playing field for legitimate, law-abiding businesses which treat their workers properly.”
The LMEU has been signed and will remain in place for one year. The GLAA can take further action if it is breached and apply for a Labour Market Enforcement Order (LMEO), which can lead to a prosecution.
If you suspect someone is supplying workers without a GLAA licence, contact our intelligence team on 0800 4320804 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.