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Gangmasters Licensing

1 Comment 9th July 2010

The Gangmasters Licensing Act should not relate to forestry. It was written to protect migrant workers of which forestry has very few if any. The Gangmaster Licensing Authority has been set up as sole arbiter of the Act, yet there appears to be a clear conflict of interest, since they seem to be solely intent on raising funds for their organisation, rather than interpreting the legislation in a reasonable and 

balanced way which is within the spirit of the Act. Nobody in the industry wants to see 

workers exploited but as we all know this is not a problem in forestry which is desperately 

short of good contractors. 

 

Many of our members are consultants who do not employ workers directly yet we have reports of the GLA using bullying tactics to persuade these consultants that they are in fact gangmasters and breaking the law if they do not pay the £2,250 required for a gangmaster license.

 

Anyone looking through the GLA website would be hard pushed to find any reference to the 

important exemptions, yet they are crucial to forestry contractors, as all machine work is 

exempt. Despite this their booklet “Do You Need a Licence” clearly states that you will need a licence if you are involved in “felling” or “harvesting” which is patently untrue.  

 

Why does this matter?

We are constantly told that that government wants to help small business during the economic recession yet here we have the ridiculous situation where taxpayer’s money is being spent harassing contractors for essentially using the wrong type of spade.  

 

The GLA are adamant that forestry consultants are breaking the law under section 4(6) of the Act but this is a matter of interpretation.  This is clearly a case of unnecessary regulation preventing small businesses from functioning. Forestry is an important UK industry producing timber, providing recreation, helping conservation and most crucially to current governement targets, helping mitigate climate change.

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One Response to Gangmasters Licensing

  1. JOHN PATERSON says:

    MYSELF AND MY BROTHER WORK AS A PARTNERSHIP IN THE FORESTRY SECTOR DOING FENCING AND SPRAYING ALSO SOME PLANTING AS WELL.THE GLA DO NOT RECOGNISE A LEGAL PARTNERSHIP UNDER SCOTS LAW OF 1890. I APPLIED FOR EXEMPTION AS WE DO NOT EMPLOY ANYONE AND AFTER EMAILING MY MP GOT IT GRUDGINGLY ON FENCING AS WE USE MACHINERY BUT IF WE DO ANY MANUAL WORK WE WILL HAVE TO GET A LICENCE.THE FORESTRY COMPANIES HAVE BEEN THREATEND WITH JAIL AND FINES SO WILL DO NOTHING ABOUT THIS. THE GLA WAS SET UP BECAUSE OF THE CHINESE COCKLE WORKERS GETTING DROWNED YET THEY ARE ABSENT AT LYTHAM ST.ANNS WHERE THERE ARE PEOPLE GOING OUT IN BOATS WITHOUT LIFE JACKETS AND THE R.N.L.I. HAVE BEEN CALLED OUT ON A NUMBER OF OCCASIONS. IT SEEMS THE G.L.A. HAVE FOUND A NICE LITTLE EARNER IN THE FORESTRY SECTOR.A GANG BY DEFINITION IS A GROUP OF WORKERS SO HOW CAN CONSULTANTS AND MYSELF AND MY BROTHER WHO WORK BY OURSELVES BE INCLUDED IN THE G.L.A. QUEST TO JUSTIFY EXISTENCE. REGARDS J.P.

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