Multiple abuses in Merseyside– Licence revoked
11th March 2009
A Merseyside gangmaster lost his appeal, after the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) found evidence of multiple abuses.
Mr Stephen Cartwright the Manager of Cartwright Employment based in Kirkby, appealed against the GLA decision to revoke the licence but the appeal found that there was no evidence to counter the GLA findings that six major breaches had taken place.
The GLA found that:
there was no evidence that income tax and national insurance contributions had been paid to HMRC and no evidence of this was provided at the appeal
there was no evidence that workers were given payslips
there were no records of the times and days the labour force worked
there was no written agreement between the labour provider and labour user to confirm who was responsible for the health and safety of workers
there was no evidence that the workers were given contracts. The blank copy of a contract that was provided did not state the type of contract, pay rate, intervals earnings will be paid, and details of entitlement to paid holidays, Statutory Sick Pay and other benefits.
there was no evidence of any worker files and Mr Cartwright stated he had never checked the workers identities to ensure they had the right to work in the UK.
Paul Whitehouse, Chairman of the GLA said:
“The lack of evidence provided is damning and raises questions about exactly what the workers were paid, how much money is owed to the taxman and exactly how the workers were treated. We will continue to protect workers, legitimate businesses and identify non-payment of tax whilst dealing with the unscrupulous gangmasters.”
Notes to editors
1. The Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) was set up to curb the exploitation of workers in the agricultural, horticultural, shellfish gathering and associated processing and packing industries.
2. The majority of workers involved in these industries come from countries such as: Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Pakistan and Portugal.
3. So far, 1,219 labour providers hold a GLA licence. Eighty Five licenses have been revoked (8 with immediate effect). One person has been prosecuted for operating without a licence, with more prosecutions forthcoming.
4. The GLA stepped up its fight against those who abuse workers with the launch of Operation Ajax in June. The operation was set up to increase the GLA’s activities with an 18 month programme of unannounced raids.
5. Paul Whitehouse, GLA Chairman, is available for interview by contacting 0115 900 8962 6. Anybody who is aware of exploitation should contact the GLA on 0845 602 5020 or report anonymously at www.gla.gov.uk/report
Public enquiries: 0845 602 5020
Media enquiries: 0115 900 8962