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Second family member falls foul of GLAA licensing scheme

13 November 2018

The daughter of a man who lost his Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) licence back in 2013 has now had her application for a licence refused.

Stourbridge-based Raja and Sons Ltd was found to have contravened the GLAA licensing standards in two critical areas following an inspection in February 2018.

Principal Authority Lobina Azeem challenged the refusal but her appeal was dismissed by an employment judge who concluded that the GLAA's decision to refuse her a licence was valid.

Miss Azeem applied for a licence in January 2018 but an application inspection the following month raised concerns about her father's influence on the company.

Mohammed Azeem had his licence revoked in 2013 after his company Foxwell Ltd, also based near Stourbridge, breached 11 licensing standards in supplying Romanian workers to a vegetable farm in Chipping Camden, Gloucestershire.

Inspectors felt that Miss Azeem had not been "candid and truthful" about the role of her father in the company and considered the application to be an attempt by him to get a new licence when he was deemed not fit and proper by the GLAA.

Miss Azeem also failed to demonstrate an adequate understanding of the licensing standards and did not show that she had sufficient management processes in place.

Her licence application was officially refused in May and despite appealing within days, the original decision was upheld.

GLAA Head of Licensing Charlotte Woodliffe said: “During our inspection, we had reason to believe Miss Azeem was being influenced by a third party, namely her father who we had serious concerns about when we revoked his licence five years ago.

“We consider Mr Azeem to still not be suitable for a GLAA licence and we concluded that she was in effect applying on behalf of her father. That combined with Miss Azeem’s incompetence meant we were left with little option but to refuse her licence.

“The company will face criminal prosecution if it continues to trade in any of our regulated sectors and we hope this sends a signal to individuals that they cannot find loopholes in our licensing regime.”

It is a criminal offence to supply workers into GLAA regulated sectors without a licence. Acting as an unlicensed gangmaster carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine.

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