Following the new exclusions regulations which came into force on 1 October 2013, there have been changes to how forestry is licensed in England, Scotland and Wales.
What has changed?
The Gangmasters Licensing (Exclusions) Regulations 2013 (the “2013 Regulations”) now excludes from licensing a person or business that uses a worker to provide a service to do forestry work. The GLA also does not require licence applications from anybody who supplies a worker to do forestry work.
Forestry work means:
- All work directly related to the planting, establishing, maintaining or harvesting woodland or forests,
- Primary processing of timber within woodland, for example cutting wood into lengths, planks or firewood,
- Any kind of arboriculture work carried out on woodlands, and
- Fencing on woodlands or forests
The new exclusions follow the GLA’s pilot exercise in the forestry industry to test a lighter touch to regulation (see GLA Brief 14 for more information). GLA Brief 23 explained Defra proposed to exclude forestry from licensing.
The 2013 Regulations apply to work done in England, Scotland and Wales. Separate regulations will be introduced for Northern Ireland. Please note that GLA licensing requirements for forestry still apply to work done in Northern Ireland until the necessary legislation is introduced.
Existing Forestry Licence Holders
All licence holders categorised as “forestry only” on the GLA Public Register no longer need a licence. The GLA will be contacting those licence holders directly to cancel their licence.
This change will not apply to those licence holders categorised as operating in both forestry and other GLA licensable activities in agriculture, horticultural, shellfish gathering and food and drink processing and packaging sectors. Those businesses still need to be licensed.
Active Check Notifications
Labour users signed up to the GLA’s Active Check system will receive a letter automatically when the licence they have registered against has been cancelled. Some labour users may have received notifications stating that the business has ‘ceased trading’, meaning they no longer operate in the GLA sectors (as explained in GLA Brief 27, ‘Active Check Notifications’). The active check alerts for forestry only businesses have now been amended so that it is clearer that the licence of the business concerned has been cancelled.
If you would like any help or guidance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone the GLA helpline on 0845 602 5020.
Please note this guidance is intended as a supplement to the detailed legislation and does not provide an authoritative statement of the law.
Find out more...
GLA Brief Issue 23: Forestry update
GLA Brief Issue 15: How licensing applies to work in forestry and woodlands
GLA Brief Issue 14: GLA forestry pilot
How to apply and renew: The application and renewal process
The licensing standards: The conditions that must be met to qualify for a licence
Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004: Legislation
Exclusions: The circumstances where a licence is not required