An Evaluation of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority

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The Gangmasters (Licensing) Act was introduced in 2004 to curb exploitative and fraudulent activities by gangmasters/labour providers supplying labour in the agriculture, forestry, horticulture, shellfish-gathering and related food processing and packaging industries. The Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) is responsible for the implementation of the Act via its operation of the Gangmaster Licensing scheme. All labour suppliers within those sectors have to be licensed in order to operate.
    An   Evaluation   of    the   Gangmasters   Licensing   Authority    A   report     for    Oxfam   Dr.   Mick   Wilkinson   with   Prof.   Gary   Craig   and   Aline   Gaus   Contemporary    Slavery    Research   Unit    (CRSU),   The   Wilberforce   Institute,   University    of    Hull    1    Acknowledgements The Research Team would like to convey their gratitude to those migrant workers who agreed to participate in this study, together with all other key stakeholders who assisted with this endeavour. Our thanks also go to Krisnah Poinasamy and Farah Kurji at Oxfam for their assistance in the research process.  Contemporary Slavery Research Unit Wilberforce Institute 2  University of Hull October 2009   3  Table of contents 1 Introduction 6 2 Background 7 3 Aims of the research 9 4 Methodology 9 5 The operation of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) and Act 10 5.1 Raising the standard 10 5.2 Raising standards 11 5.3 The positive impact on retailers and labour suppliers 11 5.4 Widespread support for the GLA 13 5.5 Cooperation with other statutory enforcement agencies 14 5.6 Compliance and revocation 15 5.7 Enforcement: the need for greater penalties 16 5.8 Phoenix companies 19 5.9 The need for formal support during revocation proceedings   20   5.10 Limited action against labour users using unlicensed labour providers 21 5.11 Exploitative farmers directly employing workers 21 6 Unlicensed, rogue gangmasters 21 7 Exploitation within the GLA’s field of operation 22 7.1 Deceit/facilitation fees/debt bondage 23 7.2 Systematic theft by deliberate miscalculation of wages 24 7.3 Systematic theft by spurious/illegal charges 25 7.4 Enforced excessive working hours 26 7.5 Removal of identification papers 27 7.6 Violence/threat of violence 27 7.7 Unfair dismissal/threat of dismissal 28 4
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