GLA Welcomes Government Consultation Results
5th September 2013
The formal response to a public consultation on how the scope and governance of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority could be improved in future has been welcomed by the authority.
Chief Executive Paul Broadbent said he was pleased the majority of opinions given in answer to Defra’s consultation had backed proposals outlined in last year’s Red Tape Challenge (RTC) review.
The RTC urged the GLA to concentrate more on serious and organised criminal labour providers, while removing the financial and administrative burden on compliant businesses.
Exactly 100 views were collected by the authority’s sponsor department earlier this year and the formal response summary can be viewed here.
Added Mr Broadbent: “We very much welcome the conclusion of the Defra consultation, in particular the proposals to exclude certain low-risk activities from our regulatory remit.
“Evidence shows their removal presents a low risk of exploitation and this will assist the GLA to deploy more resources to tackle high risk cases in line with both the ministerial expectations set out in the Red Tape Challenge review and the changing profile of criminals infiltrating the labour market.
“This would allow the GLA to focus on the gross abuse of workers and to tackle unscrupulous gangmasters committing crimes including tax evasion, trafficking and health and safety negligence.
“The consultation results appear to confirm, however, a continuing need to monitor intelligence about these lower risk areas in case systematic or widespread abuse is uncovered that requires further action.”
Mr Broadbent said the GLA was looking forward to the next steps in the process - particularly the introduction of new civil sanctions that will provide the GLA with extra ammunition in the battle to protect vulnerable and exploited workers.
Questions in the consultation invited opinion specifically on the Government’s plans to:
change underpinning legislation to amend the scope of GLA licensing
change the size and structure of the GLA Board
suggest ideas for alternative sanctions that the GLA might use to tackle transgressions in this area
Press release issued by GLA Communications and Information Officer Paul Fearn. Contact 0115 959 7069 or email email@example.com.
Notes to editors
1. The GLA operates throughout the UK and is a Non Departmental Public Body.
2. The authority was formed in 2005 in the wake of the Morecambe Bay cockle picking disaster when 23 Chinese workers drowned on the sands.
3. The GLA licences companies that supply labour (gangmasters) to agriculture, horticulture, food processing and packaging, forestry and shellfish gathering.
4. Its main strategic priorities are to prevent worker exploitation, protect vulnerable people and tackle unlicensed and criminal activity.
5. Under the Gangmasters Licensing Act (2004) it is illegal both to operate as, or employ the services of, an unlicensed gangmaster.
6. Nearly 1,200 labour providers are licensed by the GLA.