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Changes to Gangmasters Licensing Authority

Thorntons News

An employment lawyer has welcomed the changes that the UK Government has set out following its review of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority.

An employment lawyer has welcomed the changes that the UK Government has set out following its review of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority.

A consultation was launched earlier this year to look into the working of the GLA and proposed changes to its remit. This included questioning whether certain sectors could now be excluded from coverage by the GLA and if the imposition of non-criminal penalties for breaches was more appropriate.

Noele McClelland, Partner and Head of Employment Law at Thorntons law firm, said: "While some administrative changes to the GLA will probably occur early next year, the key changes to the licensing regime are scheduled to have effect from October 1, 2013.

"From this date, the main exclusions will focus primarily on the forestry and shellfish cultivation. The changes appear to be led by evidence as to the limited nature of potential exploitation within these industries, or parts of them.

"In terms of shellfish, a business which has an exclusive right to manage and harvest shellfish on a specific area of coastline will no longer required to have a licence. This exclusion extends to the subsequent processing and packaging of such shellfish and labour used by businesses operating shellfish hatcheries.

"The requirement for a licence will still apply outwith this specific exclusion.

"Since 2011, the GLA has adopted a lighter touch approach to the Forestry sector and given that this seems to have worked, the government are willing to take deregulation further. The supplying and using workers to undertake commercial, amenity and conservation forestry work will be excluded from the licensing regime.

"There are other proposed exclusions that are to be introduced in respect of land agents and land management, and farmers who raise crops or livestock as a service for a third party.

"Overall the remit of the GLA is to be reduced but this appears to be being done on the basis of appropriate evidence and seeks to reduce the burden upon certain sectors. Such proposed changes are therefore to be welcomed."

Posted by Noele McClelland


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