Gangmaster convicted of operating without a licence
21st May 2009
A gangmaster business pled guilty to contravening the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004 at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday 7 May 2009. Soul Recruitment Ltd based at Unit 7, Newington Business Centre, Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh were convicted of operating as a gangmaster business without a licence and was fined £200.
This is the second conviction in Scotland under the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004. Soul Recruitment Ltd supplied a workforce of approximately six workers a week between December 2007 until April 2008 to a beef processing business in the West Lothian area without the required Gangmaster Licence to do so.
Paul Whitehouse, Chairman of the GLA said:
“We will continue to take action against those who are operating outside the law as well as the licensed gangmasters who flout the rules.”
“We are not just targeting the gangmasters we can also prosecute the growers, processors and packers who use unlicensed gangmasters.”
“We are determined to enforce the law. Where we find illegal activity we will seek the appropriate sanctions”.
Anybody who has information about rogue gangmasters should contact the GLA on 0845 602 5020 or our anonymous reporting form available in nine languages at www.gla.gov.uk/report.
Notes to editors:
1. The GLA was established in 2005 to curb the abuse of workers in agriculture, shellfish gathering and food processing and packaging. It was set up following the death of 23 Chinese cockle pickers in Morecambe Bay in 2004.
2. It is illegal to supply labour to the GLA sectors without a licence. The maximum penalty in a Sheriffs‟ Court in Scotland is six months in prison and a fine. Those who use unlicensed gangmasters also face up to six months in prison and a fine.
3. Currently 1,230 gangmasters licensed by the GLA.
4. A gangmaster is an individual or business who: supplies labour to agriculture, shellfish gathering and food processing and packaging; uses labour to provide a service in the licensed sectors; or uses labour to gather shellfish.
5. To be granted a licence, all businesses must meet the GLA licensing standards and be „fit and proper‟.
6. To date, 93 licences have been revoked, including 8 with immediate effect. Please contact the GLA Press Office for examples of the Authority‟s work.
7. Paul Whitehouse is available for interview.
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