Multi-Agency activity in Scotland
5th August 2011
The Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA ) has between Tuesday 2 and Thursday 4 August 2011 been conducting unannounced visits to soft fruit and herb and vegetable growing farms, many of which have an „on site‟ or associated „pack house‟ in the Angus, Perth and Kinross and Fife areas of Scotland. They have been supported in these visits by officers from the relevant local authorities as well as HMRC Officers and Tayside Fire and Rescue.
The intention was to ensure that migrant workers, supplied to farms under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme (SAWS), through Licensed Gangmasters, were being treated fairly in terms of Agricultural wages and hours, as well as ensuring housing, transport and other matters associated to the employment were in compliance with the GLA Licensing Standards and legislation relevant to the partner Agencies involved in the Operation.
Findings during the visits are currently being collated and where breaches have been found, corrective action will be initiated. A total of ten farms were visited during the Operation.
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. 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. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. The GLA is committed to the Governments regulatory principles, and conducts inspections where potential risks may be identified.
Public enquiries: 0845 602 5020 /
Media enquiries: 0845 602 5020