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Somerset businesswoman prosecuted after ignoring warnings

12 May 2017

Magistrates in Yeovil yesterday imposed fines totalling £4,000 after a Somerset businesswoman admitted supplying workers to a fish processing plant without the necessary gangmaster licence.

At an earlier hearing Alison Andrews, of Taunton, pleaded guilty to an offence of unlicensed labour supply under the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act.

She also pleaded guilty to an identical offence committed by her business ASAP Recruitment Ltd, of King’s Square, Bridgewater.

Andrews, aged 43, who is a director of ASAP Recruitment, was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay a £100 Victim Surcharge as well as £85 contribution towards costs.

ASAP Recruitment received an additional fine of £3,000 plus a £120 Victim Surcharge and a further contribution of £85 towards costs for the offence, which occurred when supplying a fish factory in Devon in the early months of 2015.

GLAA Head of Operations Ian Waterfield said: “This was a case of a businesswoman who persisted in seeking out and accepting contracts to supply workers into our regulated sector in the full knowledge that what she was doing was wrong.

“Repeated warnings that her activity was illegal were ignored as if she were above the law and, as a result of her actions, she now has significant fines to pay and criminal convictions against both her and her company’s names.”

The court was told that the company director was fully aware of the requirement to hold a GLAA licence to supply labour for temporary processing roles in the UK fresh produce sector.

Both Andrews and businesses at which she had been a director were given formal warnings by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, (then operating as the GLA) on three previous occasions.

Andrews had also been a director with ASAP Staff SW Ltd in Devon when that company had its GLA licence revoked in 2009. A subsequent application for a licence that Andrews had submitted was refused by the authority.

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