Minimum wage abuse by Glenrothes Gangmaster
27th April 2009
A Glenrothes Gangmaster who paid her workers below National Minimum Wage was found to be acting as a front for another person who was not named on the licence. Miss Lorna McConaghy the named Principal Authority on the licence was found to be not in control of her business and was acting on behalf of a person who is an undischarged bankrupt.
A licence holder is fully responsible for the welfare of the workers and any principal authority is deceiving the GLA if they do not have full control and therefore the ability to protect the workers.
The workers who were potato graders were receiving £42 per day for a 7hr 45 minute shift means they were only paid £5.41 per hour which is under the National Minimum Wage of £5.73 per hour. Due to the deception involved the GLA have declared Miss McConaghy is not a fit and proper person to hold a GLA licence.
Paul Whitehouse, Chairman of the GLA said:
“Everybody has a right to minimum employment standards, we will continue to make sure everybody gets the protection they deserve”.
“We take deception very seriously, if we have been lied to about who controls the business there is a chance that other lies have been told as well”.
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 majority of workers involved in these industries come from countries such as: Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Pakistan and Portugal.
3. So far, 1,229 labour providers hold a GLA licence. Eighty nine licenses have been revoked (8 with immediate effect). One person has been prosecuted for operating without a licence, with more prosecutions forthcoming.
4. The GLA stepped up its fight against those who abuse workers with the launch of Operation Ajax in June. The operation was set up to increase the GLA’s activities with an 18 month programme of unannounced raids.
5. Paul Whitehouse, GLA Chairman, is available for interview by contacting 0115 900 8962
6. Anybody who is aware of exploitation should contact the GLA on 0845 602 5020 or report anonymously at www.gla.gov.uk/report
Public enquiries: 0845 602 5020
Media enquiries: 0115 900 8962