Reduction in gangmaster red tape will boost rural economy, says CLA

28 October 2013

CLA Midlands said proposals that forestry businesses and land agents will no longer need licences from the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) to use temporary workers would boost the rural economy.

Agriculture Minister Jim Paice announced that the GLA is to focus on protecting the most vulnerable temporary workers from exploitation while freeing those in low-risk sectors such as forestry and land agency from gangmaster regulation.

CLA Director Midlands Caroline Bedell said: "We have lobbied on this issue nationally and have met with the GLA at county level to press home this issue. This announcement is a victory for forestry, land agents and the rural economy. Our members will appreciate the acknowledgement that they are responsible employers, leaving the Agency free to protect vulnerable workers from exploitation in other industries."

The CLA pressed the Government and made recommendations to the Forestry Regulation Task Force for forestry and land agents to be made exempt from gangmaster licensing because these sectors have a proven track record of providing good employment conditions for temporary workers.

Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Jim Paice published a Written Ministerial Statement (WMS) in Parliament announcing proposed changes to the scope and operation of the GLA following its consideration under the Government's Red Tape Challenge process. You can read the full statement here:

CLA Forestry and Woodland Adviser Mike Seville was an independent member of the Forestry Regulation Task Force. He made the recommendation to remove the requirement for forestry businesses to be licensed by the GLA. The Task Force then presented its suggestions to Defra.