Banned Fenland gangmaster's appeal rejected as judge backs GLA

A court has dismissed a Cambridgeshire gangmaster's appeal to have his revoked licence reinstated, instead supporting Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) claims that he mistreated workers.

March-based Roberto Mac provided agricultural fieldworkers to harvest crops at Fenland farms and to pick flowers in Cornwall.

The Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) withdrew the licence of company director Roberto Divkovic, saying he paid workers below the legal minimum wage, housed them in unsafe accommodation and transported them in dangerous vehicles.

The revocation followed a raid on the company's offices and Divkovic's home as part of the multi-agency Operation Endeavour in October 2013.

Employment judge Val Adamson this week dismissed Divkovic's appeal, saying in his verdict: "The appellant has committed a number of breaches of a number of the respondent's (GLA's) licence conditions. Not only the number of breaches but the serious nature of all of those found means I must dismiss the appeal."

Following the publication of the verdict, GLA head of licensing Charlotte Woodliffe said: "This decision from the court not only shows that the judgement of our licensing team was a fair one but it also entirely vindicates the decision to step in swiftly at the time to safeguard scores of workers from continued exploitation."

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