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Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 26 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many prosecutions have been brought under the provisions of the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004 in the last 12 months. (185037)

The Gangmasters' Licensing Act 2004 creates two main offences: operating as a gangmaster without a licence and entering into arrangements with an unlicensed gangmaster. It also creates offences in connection with false documents, such as a licence or a document issued by the Gangmasters' Licensing Authority (GLA) in connection with a licence. The GLA enforces the 2004 Act on behalf of DEFRA.

In the last 12 months, one prosecution has been brought for the offences created by the 2004 Act. This prosecution has been brought in Scotland by the Procurator Fiscal for the offence of acting as a gangmaster without a licence. The trial date has been set for March.

In addition, the GLA is investigating 105 cases where offences under the 2004 Act may have been committed. The GLA has said that from the 2008-09 financial year it will be placing increasing emphasis on enforcing the 2004 Act now that it has completed the task of designing and implementing the licensing scheme for gangmasters.