Calling all food processors/packagers – this will affect you.
The processing and packaging of food and drink is one of the sectors regulated by the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA). If you recruit workers, on a temporary or permanent basis into the regulated sectors listed below, your labour provider (or recruitment agency) is required by law to have a GLA licence.
Regulated sectors include companies producing the following but this list is not exhaustive. If you do not see your area of work listed, you may still need a licence and should check with the GLA:
• Animal feed/pet feed
• Baby food
• Carbonated drinks/concentrate drinks/beer/cider/wine/spirits/soft drinks
• Dairy products/eggs
• Fish and fish products
• Fresh produce/salad
• Fruit juice
• Meat and meat products
• Ready meals/pizza/sandwiches
Labour User Responsibilities
It is illegal to use an unlicensed gangmaster. Labour users in the regulated sectors must only use workers supplied by a licensed provider or licensed recruitment agency. In England and Wales the maximum penalty for using an unlicensed gangmaster is 51 weeks in prison and a fine. In Scotland and Northern Ireland the maximum sentence is 6 months and a fine.
“We have had numerous discussions with clients and the GLA regarding all manner of roles and whether or not they come under the scope of the GLA remit” commented Steve Griffiths, Operations Director at Supertemps. “Clients approach us for clarification and sometimes are unaware that they are legally required to use GLA licensed agencies for the supply of their staff.”
"Many North Wales labour users we have spoken to who are food producers or processors have told us they find it difficult to know which workers fall under the GLA legislation and make certain they are compliant", he continued.
To simplify, the below roles, in the aforementioned sectors, legally require the labour user to have a GLA licensed supply chain:
• Hands on packaging and processing roles
• Other roles intrinsic to the regulated activity including: maintenance engineers, cleaners, production managers etc.
• All roles covered – whether the labour supplier is providing staff on a temporary or permanent basis.
Our advice would be for all labour users to check they are compliant. The penalties are hefty but organisations are hopefully beginning to realise that the onus is on them to check their labour supply chain is properly licensed.
To check if your recruitment agency is correctly licenced click here.
For more information click here.
To contact the GLA click here.
(Supertemps Gangmaster License Number: SUPE0004)