The Gangmasters Licence and why it matters to your business


We display our gangmasters licence on our website and on every proposal we create that requires it we detail how we ensure your business is covered. But what is the meaning of this piece of legislation? More importantly, what does it mean for your business, and how does this impact your choice of recruitment partner?

Why was the gangmasters licence introduced?

The GLAA explains that –

“Our role is to protect vulnerable and exploited workers. Through the intelligence we receive from our inspections, the public, industry and other government departments, we investigate reports of worker exploitation and illegal activity such as human trafficking, forced labour and illegal labour provision, as well as offences under the National Minimum Wage and Employment Agencies Acts.

Our licensing scheme regulates businesses who provide workers to the fresh produce supply chain and horticulture industry, to make sure they meet the employment standards required by law.”

As a labour provider, a gangmasters licence is mandatory when we supply workers to you who operate in certain sectors and where the worker will undertake specific tasks.

  • Agriculture
  • Horticulture
  • Shellfish gathering
  • Any associated processing and the packaging of any product derived from agriculture, fish or shellfish

The licence is required for any work carried out in the UK regardless of where the business is located.

To be clear on what this means it helps to understand exactly what is meant by a ‘worker’ and what the word ‘supply’ means in this instance.

What is a WORKER?

  • Agency/temporary worker
  • Permanent worker
  • Employee
  • Self-employed person
  • Volunteer
  • Family Member

What is meant by SUPPLY?

Any of the following actions made by an individual or business into the above sectors are seen as supplying workers –

  • Supplying temporary agency workers.
  • Sourcing candidates and sending details to another labour provider. This includes screening CV’s or completed application forms.
  • Introducing candidates for direct employment.
  • Providing permanent recruitment services.
  • Any screening of candidates for work in the highlighted sectors, whether the client employs the worker or not.
  • The setting up of an agreement to provide workers on an ongoing basis and the entire duration of the agreement.

So ANY business or individual needs a licence if they supply a worker to undertake any work in the scenarios outlined above.

What this means for your business

Most of the above is describing the responsibilities of the company supplying the worker to your business. For any company that operates within the above sectors, there is also a duty to ensure you are operating within the legislation. Not doing so can be a criminal offence with penalties that include imprisonment and financial fines.

Using an unlicensed gangmaster, possession of fraudulent documentation and the obstruction of a GLAA officer in the course of their duties are all offences under the Act.

Making sure your labour provider understands the legislation and operates within all its conditions is therefore essential for your business.

The Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) has a searchable public database on the website where you can confirm whether the individual or business supplying your workforce is correctly licenced.

You can inspect our current GLAA listing here –

Team4You continue to comply with the requirements of the gangmaster licence scheme. We will be on hand to ensure we both adhere to the legislation throughout our entire relationship together.

If you are looking for a partner to provide a workforce that goes above and beyond our legal obligations get in touch. Use our contact form here, email us at or give us a call on 01743 627237

You can also download the Introduction to Team4You brochure here