The Gangmasters Licensing Authority started accepting licence applications to operate in agriculture and the food processing and packaging sectors on 6 April 2006. The offence of acting as a gangmaster without a licence came into force on 1 October 2006. The authority started accepting applications to supply or use workers to gather shellfish from 1 October 2006. At 5 October, 642 labour providers had been registered by the authority.
As part of the application process, labour providers are asked to indicate how many workers they employ. The labour providers that have been licensed have indicated that, in total, they are supplying approximately 365,000 workers. This figure will double-count workers who are employed by more than one licensed labour provider.