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Minister endorses work of Gangmasters Licensing Authority

30 October, 2008

Mr Paul Whitehouse, the Chairman of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA), is in the North of Ireland this week to publicise the work of the Authority and to increase awareness of gangmaster legislation here.

Sinn Féin Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle Gildernew MP, MLA said:

"I realise the importance of raising the profile of gangmaster licensing and fully endorse the work of GLA which aims to curb the exploitation of vulnerable workers by unscrupulous gangmasters. I actively encourage the GLA's efforts to ensure equality for all across the sector and am pleased that my Department is able to fund its enforcement activities here.

"My Department will assist the GLA in whatever way it can to raise awareness of the need for labour providers to be fully compliant with legal requirements. I urge employers to take heed and would remind them that they are legally obliged to deal only with licensed providers."

The remit of the GLA extends to agricultural, horticultural and forestry activities, gathering shellfish and the processing and packaging of any produce derived from these sectors. The Authority also produces and maintains a register of licensed gangmasters which farmers and other labour users may access.

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