New 'Discretionary' Approach to Application Inspections
22nd July 2013
The GLA will take steps to reduce the bureaucratic burden it places on business by applying a new „discretionary‟ approach when deciding whether to conduct a site visit when inspecting some companies that apply for a gangmaster‟s licence.
This new approach allows the GLA to use its professional discretion as to whether a physical site visit is required on each and every occasion, or whether information exists to speed up that process and negate the need to carry out a visit.
The default position will be that the GLA will physically inspect unless discretionary aspects exist, supported by other evidence, information and intelligence, which deem the site visit unnecessary.
In the past, all businesses that apply for a licence have been subjected to an automatic physical inspection. From October 1, a new system will be introduced allowing the GLA to determine whether a site visit is necessary or not based upon certain criteria.
In some instances, licences could be issued, but more likely refused, without a physical inspection taking place.
GLA Chief Executive Paul Broadbent explained: “Under the Government‟s Red tape Challenge, the GLA was asked to reduce the regulatory burdens it places on businesses – with particular emphasis on compliant companies.
“Our default position will always be to inspect – but there are occasions when there may be no need. In any event our strategic aim of working in partnership to protect vulnerable and exploited workers remains at the heart of all we do.”
By way of illustration, some examples are given below.
Mandatory inspection - companies that have been previously refused a licence by the GLA or had a licence revoked, businesses where no information is held on the company or individuals involved, companies the GLA holds negative intelligence reports about, companies that fail security checks with other Government departments.
Discretionary inspections - immediate approval could be granted to: previous licence holders applying within six months of the lapse of their previous licence, cases where a new legal entity is created for a previously compliant business, applicants with a clean history of operating in other industry sectors.
Discretionary inspections - immediate refusal could result where: clear evidence of recent non-compliance exists, tax issues are identified such as outstanding debt
A GLA Brief – full guidance document – on the new discretionary approach to Application Inspections has been prepared and can be viewed here.
In all cases, with the exception of applicants from the forestry industry, the application inspection fee remains in place and will be non-refundable.
Press release issued by GLA Communications and Information Officer Paul Fearn. Contact 0115 959 7069 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to Editors
1. The GLA operates throughout the UK and is a Non Departmental Public Body.
2. The authority was formed in 2005 in the wake of the Morecambe Bay cockle picking disaster when 23 Chinese workers drowned on the sands.
3. The GLA licences companies that supply labour (gangmasters) to agriculture, horticulture, food processing and packaging, forestry and shellfish gathering.
4. Its main strategic priorities are to prevent worker exploitation, protect vulnerable people and tackle unlicensed and criminal activity.
5. Under the Gangmasters Licensing Act (2004) it is illegal both to operate as, or employ the services of, an unlicensed gangmaster.
6. Nearly 1,200 labour providers are licensed by the GLA.