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Two year ban for Peterborough gangmaster

Two year ban for Peterborough gangmaster
A Peterborough gangmaster has had his licence revoked after failing to meet so many GLA licensing conditions that the number of penalty points recorded was over six times the amount needed to revoke a licence.

Mr James Smith, the Manager of labour providing business JR & JD Smith has also been declared as not fit and proper to hold a GLA licence and under the GLA standards introduced in April 2009 now faces a two year ban from acting as a gangmaster.

Mr Smith could not prove that he was paying national minimum wage to all workers as accurate records were not kept. The workers who were supplied by JR & JD Smith were picking flowers known as Sweet Williams in the Spalding area of Lincolnshire, where they were interviewed by GLA officers.

When inspecting the business GLA officers found:
 Minibuses used to transport workers were not correctly insured, and the main listed driver did not have a current driving licence
 Eight worker files did not contain copies of the workers identification documents and one worker had no paperwork at all. These documents are used to check that the individual worker has the right to work in the UK
 Workers had to buy their own personal protective equipment and Mr Smith did not know if the workers, both men and women had any toilet facilities that they could use during their days of working in the fields.
 Workers were not paid the agricultural minimum wage overtime they were due
 Mr Smith admitted that he did not pay sick pay or maternity pay
 There was no agreement between Mr Smith and the labour user over the responsibility for the health and safety of the workers.
 There was no evidence that the workers had been trained
 There were no records to show which workers had been supplied to a subcontractor

Paul Whitehouse Chairman of the GLA said:
Employers who pay workers by productivity must ensure that any shortfall is made up to national or agricultural minimum wage levels.
Those who break or bend the rules need to be dealt with to ensure that legitimate businesses do not suffer. We will no longer tolerate gangmasters whose licence is revoked and reapply - Mr Smith will have to wait at least two years before he can reapply, and then we shall look very carefully at him.

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