What if my business is not based in the UK?
Anyone who supplies workers to the GLAA sectors must have a licence, this applies whether the business is based in the United Kingdom (UK) or outside the UK.
- Introducing workers to a labour provider or labour user
- Sourcing workers and forwarding them to a UK client for work, for example sending CVs or application forms
- Screening candidates, even if the client makes the final decision to employ the worker
Supplying any kind of worker regardless of their employment status – self employed, agency worker or employee - to the GLAA sectors means you will need a licence.
The conditions of a licence
A business must meet the conditions of the licensing standards to get a licence, and maintain the standards to keep their licence.
The standard that is most likely to be relevant to businesses based outside the UK is 7.1 which prohibits charging workers a fee for work finding services. Even if charging is legal in the country the business is based in, as the actual work will be done in the UK and in the GLAA regulated sectors, workers must not be charged for work finding services.
This standard also prohibits work finding services that are conditional on the worker using other services, or hiring or buying goods from the business or anyone connected to them. Any additional services such as arranging travel or accommodation must be optional. This is a critical standard. Any non compliance would lead to an application being refused or a licence revoked.
Businesses based outside the European Economic Area (EEA)
If a licence holder is based outside the EEA and does not pay Employer’s National Insurance Contributions (ENICs), HM Revenue and Customs may consider the UK labour provider or labour user is liable for paying ENICs.
A posted worker is someone who, for a limited time, works in a different EU member state to the one they usually work in. Workers posted to the UK must have the same key terms and conditions as workers based permanently in the UK, including the national minimum wage. A worker can only be regarded as posted if they work for the same employer in the country of origin.
Any business based outside the UK who is supplying workers to the GLAA regulated sectors under the Posting of Workers Directive must have a GLAA licence.
All workers should have an E101 certificate before being posted to the UK. This confirms the equivalent of national insurance is being paid in the exporting country. Workers should also register for tax in the UK, unless the period of work will be very short.
It is a criminal offence to supply workers to the regulated sectors without a GLAA licence. The maximum penalty is ten years in prison and a fine. For more information read our pages on How we inspect and prosecute and Criminal offences and sanctions.
It is also illegal to use an unlicensed labour provider.
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