Gangmaster who docked workers' pay has licence torn up

A gangmaster has had his licence torn up after misleading the Government's watchdog, docking pay illegally and breaking minimum-wage rules.

The Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) said the company in Spalding, Lincolnshire, was "not fit or proper" to hold a licence and faced a two-year ban from operating as a gangmaster.

The workers were supplied to farms that produced vegetables, with one of the businesses growing brassicas, potatoes and onions.

When GLA officers swooped on Nuno Moitinho, the director of Soma Recruitment said he did not provide accommodation to workers, contrary to records.

Accommodation charges were twice the level set for minimum-wage workers. Moitinho owed VAT and deducted transport costs that took pay below national minimum wage levels. Vehicles were not correctly insured.

Soma Recruitment, which appealed against the decision, lost its case, with GLA chairman Paul Whitehouse insisting the law was there to protect workers and ensure business requirements were met.

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