New chief welcomes fresh focus
28th January 2013
Views and opinions about streamlining GLA licensing processes, releasing resources to protect workers from exploitation more effectively, are being invited in the latest public consultation by the Gangmasters Licensing Authority.
The exercise forms part of the GLA response to the "Red Tape Challenge‟ – a Government initiative intended to remove unnecessary regulation so activities can be conducted in the most cost-effective and efficient way.
New Chief Executive Paul Broadbent joined the organisation at the start of the month. He welcomes an early opportunity to hear views on how people think the GLA could improve.
“The Red Tape Challenge and this subsequent consultation has provided a timely opportunity to take a fresh look at how we work,” he said.
“We want to hear how people think we can work smarter, improve the way we operate and remove unnecessary restrictions we place on businesses.
“The ultimate goal is to continue to protect vulnerable workers effectively, prevent their future exploitation and prosecute those who flout the law.
“We‟re looking to identify areas that could be streamlined and we‟d really like some additional external input - from workers, labour providers, labour users and any other associated organisations that operate in the sectors we control.”
The Red Tape Challenge‟s review of the GLA recommended reducing the burden of inspections and fees on established, compliant businesses, while focussing more closely on the gross abuse of workers.
It also recommended an increased commitment to tackling any unscrupulous gangmasters committing crimes including tax evasion, trafficking, health and safety negligence and other serious crimes.
Added Mr Broadbent: “We must remove all unnecessary restrictions on labour providers and prioritise those cases that present the greatest potential harm to workers, and the most serious breaches of UK legislation.”
The consultation document identifies potential areas for change for labour providers seeking GLA licences.
Views are being sought, specifically on the following four areas:
The application and inspection process
Earned recognition – eg providing periods of non-inspection for compliant licence holders
The licence renewal process
Active checks on licence holders and the public register To assist with submissions, these key issues have been condensed into 12 questions and the easiest way to make a contribution is by answering some or all of those on the list.
The consultation document is available to download from the GLA website at http://gla.defra.gov.uk/Who-We-Are/Consultations/. All responses must be returned by 22 March 2013.
For further information contact GLA Communications and Information Officer Paul Fearn on 0115 959 7069 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Act establishing it was passed in 2004 and licences first came into force in 2006.
3. The GLA is a Non Departmental Public Body.
4. Protecting workers is the key aim alongside protecting legitimate labour providers and protecting the tax payer by uncovering unpaid taxes.
5. Around 1,200 labour providers are now licensed by the GLA.