GLA investigations of Shellfish Gangmasters continue
23rd May 2012
On Tuesday 22 May, 2012, the Gangmasters Licensing Authority, supported by Officers from Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary, executed Search Warrants at addresses in Dumfries and Annan.
This operation was in connection with suspected offending under the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004 (unlicensed Gangmaster) in the shellfish industry in the Solway Firth area and elsewhere in the United Kingdom.
The Investigation continues, including examination and analysis of material seized in the searches.
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. On 16 May 2012 the GLA reported two shellfish related prosecutions: http://gla.defra.gov.uk/PageFiles/1373/Cumbrian%20gangmaster%20prosecu ted%20in%20the%20shellfish%20industry.pdf; http://gla.defra.gov.uk/PageFiles/1373/Cacicovschi%20Press%20release%20 170512.pdf. The first prosecution in this industry occurred in 2009: http://gla.defra.gov.uk/PageFiles/1054/Final1%20- %20Benson%20prosecution%20release%20Sept%202009.pdf.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. The GLA is committed to the Governments regulatory principles, and does not conduct inspections without reason where potential risks may be identified.
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