Repeat offender pulling strings in latest revocation
26th May 2010
The Gangmasters Licensing Authority has revoked the licence of a Birmingham gangmaster after finding multiple non-compliances and a previously twice revoked gangmaster heavily involved in the running of the business.
Mr Harjeet Singh, the Director of HKM Solutions Limited who has now had its licence revoked, was previously a driver for a revoked gangmaster business run by Kashmir Singh, and workers and the GLA did not believe Harjeet Singh was the person running the business.
Mr Kashmir Singh had previously run gangmaster businesses Newtex Limited and New Horizons Personnel Limited, whose licenses were both revoked by the GLA, one of them for “persistent and systematic exploitation of the workers”.
Paul Whitehouse, Chairman of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority said:
“This looks like another case of an exploitative gangmaster trying to get back into the business. We have stopped many of these characters already and the message is that they are not welcome and will be stopped by the GLA.”
“Workers in agriculture and the food industry are already in a safer place than other areas of the economy, thanks to the work of the GLA. We will not stop searching for the rogues and are already expanding our reach by working closely with the industry to find and block rogues from our regulated sectors.”
Mr Harjeet Singh the named Director of HKM Solutions Limited failed the Principal Authority competence test and was declared “not fit and proper” to hold a licence due to:
attempting to mislead GLA inspectors by stating Kashmir Singh who attended meetings on behalf of HKM Solutions with the labour user had no links to the business.
A lack of paperwork
No evidence to suggest proper checks had been carried out when a worker who was not entitled to work in the UK was identified.
No draft contracts for workers
Failed to provide workers who were not familiar with the rules of driving in the UK any training
Workers given the task of driving minibuses were not entitled to do so as their licences had a D101 restriction in place
Minibuses used to transport workers did not have a Public Service Vehicles (PSV) Operators licence
Failed to co-operate with the labour user to ensure water was available to workers in the fields First aid arrangements were inadequate
Although 6-8 accidents had occurred in the pack house or fields including one worker being taken to hospital, no accidents had been investigated and no accident book was available for inspection.
The contract for workers was out of date and did not show that the workers would now be paid by cheque instead of cash.
Failed to retain records to show if workers received paid annual leave
Had not kept the GLA informed of a change of business address
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 inspection took place in April 2009 and the letter of revocation was issued in June 2009. Any business who’s licence is revoked without immediate effect can trade until the appeals process has been exhausted.
3. HKM Solutions Limited withdrew their appeal against the GLA decision.
4. So far, 1,168 labour providers hold a GLA licence. 125 licenses have been revoked (10 with immediate effect).
5. Paul Whitehouse, GLA Chairman, is available for interview by contacting 0115 900 8962
Public enquiries: 0845 602 5020
Media enquiries: 0115 900 8962