Criminal offences and sanctions
The Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004 includes a number of criminal offences that apply to both labour providers and labour users.
Within the GLA regulated sectors it is illegal under s12 of the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act to:
- operate as a gangmaster without a licence
- possess a document - either false, improperly obtained or belonging to someone else - with the intention of inducing someone to believe that you, or someone else, are licensed by the GLA.
The maximum penalty for operating without a licence is 10 years in prison and/or a fine.
If you use workers for roles in the GLA sectors, they must be supplied by a licensed labour provider. It is a criminal offence to enter into an agreement with an unlicensed gangmaster. This carries a maximum penalty of six months in prison and/or a fine.
It is also an offence to obstruct a GLA officer in the course of their duties, with a maximum penalty of six months in prison and/or a fine.
If you use workers to gather shellfish you will also need a licence. You are considered to be a gangmaster in this sector, so the penalty is up to 10 years in prison and a fine if you operate without a licence. More information is available on our shellfish gathering page.
Find out more...
The Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004: Legislation - the offences under the Act are described in s12, s13 and s18.
GLA Brief Issue 7: GLA approach to prosecution
Conviction totals: Individuals and businesses prosecuted under the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004