Forestry body Confor leads Gangmasters response

Forestry body Confor has welcomed the publication of Defra's consultation on the scope of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority on 26 April.

It runs to 21 June 2013. Confor is coordinating a forestry industry response and is encouraging everyone with an interest to participate.

Confor led industry efforts to convince the government that there was no evidence that workers in forestry were at risk of exploitation in the manner that the GLA was set up to tackle and should be removed from the scope of licensing.

Eventually, last autumn, a ministerial announcement confirmed that forestry was probably low-risk and in November licence fees were dropped, pending this consultation that is required before statutory changes can be made.

Confor chief executive Stuart Goodall said:

"We have fought long and hard for this.  The consultation is another welcome step in the path to finally removing forestry from the scope of the GLA.  We hope now that this unnecessary licensing burden will become history.

He added: "However, it is still vital that everyone with an interest responds to this consultation. Ideally, individuals and companies will complete the online response themselves, but also give their views to Confor to maximise the impact. Confor welcomes comments up to 17 June 2013."

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