Gangmaster rules strengthened
Published:  25 May, 2012

Criminal labour providers will find life tougher after a review of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA), food and farming minister Jim Paice has announced.

Set up in 2003, the GLA was established to protect vulnerable temporary workers from exploitation in the farming and food processing sector.

The organisation will now refocus its efforts to stamp out abuses, Paice said: “This government is committed to protecting vulnerable workers which is why we’ll be using a much more targeted approach to clamp down on the high-risk, criminal labour providers and users where action is most needed.

“Responsible employers who play by the rules will be freed from unnecessary costs and bureaucracy, allowing them to get on with the important job of running their business, while safeguarding the rights of their workers.”

The changes will free up resources for inspectors to take action where it is needed most, allowing the GLA to clamp down on high-risk labour providers who commit serious crime. Paice said it would also work more effectively with other agencies to track and address cases of human trafficking.

Margaret McKinlay, chair of the GLA, said: “We welcome these changes which will really help us focus our efforts on the areas of high risk activity that will make a difference, while reducing the burdens for compliant businesses.

“We’ve already been looking to apply a light touch approach to licensing the businesses we regulate and have started to focus our efforts on areas where exploitation of workers may be more of a problem.”

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