Gangmaster checks expose misconduct

Surprise inspections by the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) on gangmasters operating in Lincolnshire have uncovered a series of malpractices such as workers allegedly being paid below the minimum wage.

The visits by 15 GLA officers were part of a four-day exercise, which took place earlier this month across Lincolnshire and Lancashire, where workers were harvesting and packing vegetables or preparing plants at nurseries.

In 16 inspections, the gangmasters interviewed were able to demonstrate that GLA requirements were being met, the authority said. But in four field visits to holdings in Lincolnshire, interviews by officers found that workers were allegedly paid below the legal minimum, without contracts or arrangements for holiday or sick pay.

Allegations also included workers being left in a field at 6am without supervision and transport to pick produce until they were collected at 4pm, and an untaxed van used as worker transport.

The workers interviewed were mainly of Indian, Polish and Lithuanian nationalities.

The exercise was part of Operation Ajax, which started in June. During an 18-month period, 20 to 30 surprise raids will target areas where the GLA believes workers are being exploited.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Is a post-Brexit seasonal worker scheme now impossible?

Is a post-Brexit seasonal worker scheme now impossible?

The UK fresh-produce sector has reacted with dismay at the latest developments in the ongoing debate, largely conducted out of public view, on whether UK horticulture will still have access to seasonal migrant workers when the UK leaves the EU in 18 months' time.

Can UK fresh produce come out of Brexit ahead?

Can UK fresh produce come out of Brexit ahead?

UK production horticulture can become more profitable under one possible Brexit scenario, while other more drastic scenarios will lead to only minor losses in profitability, a new report argues.

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon