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Changes to the Gangmasters Licensing Authority

22 November 2016

Following public consultation and parliamentary evidence sessions from a wide range of stakeholders, the Modern Slavery Act 2015 determined that there would be a review of the role and remit of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority.  This was commissioned through the legislative vehicle of the Immigration Act 2016 and following further public consultation, concluded that the GLA will evolve to become the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA). 

As such, and enshrined within that Act, the GLAA will retain its licensing and regulatory function of temporary labour in the food and farming sectors but have a much broader role in terms of addressing labour exploitation across the entire labour market.

These wider powers will come into full effect in the spring of 2017 to ensure vulnerable workers are more effectively protected from being abused for their labour.  This will include police style powers under the Modern Slavery Act (forced or compulsory labour), increased powers to search for and seize evidence, offences under National Minimum Wage, Employment Agencies as well as the existing Gangmasters Licensing legislation. This enhanced investigatory function will seek to protect all workers, regardless of employment status and will not, therefore, be merely restricted to temporary workers.

Paul Broadbent, Chief Executive of the GLA said: “If you are a business we are here to help you protect your supply chain and work with you to eliminate labour exploitation; if you are a non-government organisation we will work more closely with you to protect the vulnerable; if you represent workers we will work tirelessly to ensure their rights aren’t eroded; and if you work within law enforcement we have specialist teams with decades of experience in investigating those who abuse others for their labour.”

The Government has also introduced measures to provide a more coherent framework for identifying and preventing abuses of labour market legislation and to strengthen the enforcement response. This includes new powers to apply Labour Market Enforcement (LME) undertakings and orders.  These are intended for more serious or persistent offenders where this type of intervention is judged appropriate to prevent further offending. These orders take effect from 25 November 2016.

The role of Director of Labour Market Enforcement has also been created.  The GLAA, the national minimum wage function of HMRC and the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate will work closely with the Director with the aim of creating a level playing field for compliant business and tackling exploitative practices wherever they occur in the labour market. An announcement regarding the role of the Director is due imminently. 

“As the GLAA moves forward as an agile organisation that seeks to help compliant business yet relentlessly tackles the bad either directly or with or through other agencies, the GLAA Chair, Board and I very much value your support and ongoing dialogue as to how we can improve further.

With this in mind we are holding a number of regional seminars starting in the New Year where we would be delighted to discuss in more detail the changes to the GLAA and how, together, we can help stop the abuse of labour.  We will also be commencing webinars, webchats, blogs and vlogs from January 2017 plus news and alerts on our website,” said Paul Broadbent.

Date Time Region Venue
17 1300 - 1500 East Midlands Apex Court, City Link, Nottingham NG2 4LA
25 1100 - 1300 East of England  Gs Fresh, Barway Road, Ely CB7 5TZ
 31 1100 - 1300  West Midlands  MSO Workspace, Brierley Hill, Dudley DY5 1XN
 2 1100 - 1300  Scotland Strathearn House, Broxden Business Park, Lamberkine Drive, Perth PH1 1RX
 6 1100 - 1300  London  Defra, Nobel House, Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR
 8 1100 - 1300  Yorkshire/ North East Lakeside Conference Centre, Sand Hutton, York YO41 1LZ
 16 1100 - 1300  North West/ North Wales Defra, Hornbeam House, Electra Way, Crewe CW1 6XB
 28 1100 - 1300  South East  Hall Place Enterprise Centre, Harbledown, Canterbury CT2 9AG
 13 1300 - 1500  South Wales Office of National Statistics, Cardiff Road, Newport NP10 8XG
 14 1100 - 1300  South West  Environment Agency, Manley House, Kestrel Way, Exeter EX2 7LQ
 29 1030 - 1230  Northern Ireland  Castle Buildings, Stormont, Belfast BT4 3SL

 To reserve a place email and provide names and email contacts for attendees. The events are free to attend, however spaces will be limited at all venues and you will need to provide details in advance to guarantee entry on the day.

The date for the GLAA Autumn 2017 national conference will also be announced shortly.

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