Consultation on changes to the scope and governance of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority

Closed 21 Jun 2013

Opened 26 Apr 2013

Overview

The purpose of this consultation is to seek views on the Government’s plans to change underpinning legislation to amend the scope of GLA licensing, to change the size and structure of the GLA Board and to suggest ideas for alternative sanctions that the GLA might use to tackle transgressions in this area.  This Website includes an online survey which you can use to give us your responses to the questions in the Consultation Document.

An Impact Assessment on the impact of the changes to the GLA is published to accompany this consultation.  You are also invited to comment on the estimates and assumptions made in the Impact Assessment and to let us have your own views on the impact, with your reasons. 

We would prefer you to give us your answers to the consultation questions and your views on the Impact Assessment using the online survey.  If you are unable to do so, we will accept responses via email to the consutlation email box.

There is a link to the Impact Assessment and to the Consultation Document below.  Alternatively, if you would like to receive hard copies of these documents, you may call Stephen Moorcroft at Defra on 020-7238-6295 or via email at GLAConsultationEnquiries@defra.gsi.gov.uk and one will be sent to you. 

Separately from this Defra consultation the GLA have carried out a consultation on the administration of their licensing arrangements.  The GLA consultation set out proposals for change in the following areas: the application inspection process, earned recognition, license renewal process and changes to the public register and active check process. The GLA consultation opened on 28 January 2013 and closed on 22 March 2013.  A link to the GLA’s consultation page is included below.

Why We Are Consulting

 The review of the operation of the GLA licensing scheme, undertaken as part of the Red Tape Challenge during the autumn of 2011, concluded that the most vulnerable workers in the regulated sectors should continue to receive the protection offered by the licensing regime.  However, the review recognised that the circumstances of supply of workers in some areas covered by licensing pose no serious risk of exploitation. 

The review recommended reducing the burden of inspections and fees on established, compliant businesses.  This would free the GLA to focus more closely on the gross abuse of workers with an increased commitment to tackling any unscrupulous gangmasters committing crimes including tax evasion, trafficking, health and safety negligence and other serious crimes. 

The GLA will target suspected serious and organised crime by working more closely with the Serious Organised Crime Authority, its successor, and other specialist law enforcement agencies across Government.  The review also concluded that the current sanctions available to the GLA would not provide the flexibility it requires to carry out its compliance and enforcement roles effectively and proportionately in the future. 

The Defra Minister of State made a statement to Parliament in May 2012 on the outcomes of the Red Tape Challenge review on the operations of the GLA.   The full text of the Written Ministerial Statement can be found in Annex 1 of the Consultation Document.

What Happens Next

We intend to introduce the changes to the Exclusions Regulations in the Autumn and changes to the GLA governance structures early in 2014.  Once the arrangements are in place Ministers will appoint new Board members.  Giving the GLA powers to use civil sanctions will require consultation on specific proposals with a view to making the necessary legislative changes as soon as possible.

Audiences

  • Trade Unions
  • Employment Agencies
  • Food Business Operators
  • Licensed Gangmasters
  • Farmers
  • Horticulture Industry
  • Shellfish Cultivators

Interests

  • Shellfish
  • Egg industry
  • Poultry industry
  • Dairy industry
  • Farm management
  • Land management
  • Forestry
  • Rural economy and communities