John Day, 54, of Whittington Chase, Kingsmead, and Mark Baker, 42, of Nevill Close, Hanslope, were found to have illegally supplied 18 workers for an eight-month period to a food processing factory in Bedfordshire from late June 2016 until February 2017.
The GLAA prosecuted the pair after investigations into Le Puy and Pinnacle Staffing Ltd, agencies run by Day and trading as Harpur Recruitment.Both the companies went into insolvency during the investigation.
Day and Baker were both sentenced at Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 19 March, after previously pleading guilty to acting as unlicensed gangmasters at a hearing in December 2019. Day was fined £700, plus a victim surcharge of £70 and costs of £85.
Baker received a fine of £240 and was also ordered to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £32.
“Acting as an unlicensed gangmaster is a serious offence which can potentially leave some of the most vulnerable workers in society at risk of exploitation,” saidGLAA senior investigating officer Jennifer Baines.
“I’m pleased that both Day and Baker recognised their wrongdoing and admitted the offences in court. We will continue to uphold our licensing regime and ensure that work in our GLAA sectors is fully regulated.”
Acting as a gangmaster without a GLAA licence is a criminal offence carrying a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and an unlimited fine.
Licence holders and applicants can also have their licences revoked or refused if GLAA inspectors discover that its regulations are not being followed.
The GLAA has police-style powers to investigate labour market offences in England and Wales. It tackles offences under the Modern Slavery Act, the National Minimum Wage and Employments Agencies Acts, as well as the existing Gangmasters Licensing legislation.
The authority also licenses companies that supply labour (gangmasters) for agriculture, horticulture, shellfish gathering as well as all associated processing and packaging.