New report calls for Gangmaster Licensing extension to construction

Construction union UCATT has welcomed the findings of a new report that has called for the Gangmaster Licensing Authority to be extended to the construction industry.

The report Preventing Trafficking for Labour Exploitation written by Caroline Robinson for Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX ) examines what is needed to prevent workers being trafficked for work in Britain.

The report calls for high risk labour sectors such as construction, care, cleaning and hospitality to be regulated by extending the remit of the GLA to cover these areas in order to prevent abuses and exploitation of workers.

Steve Murphy, General Secretary of UCATT, said: “This is an important report. Workers in construction are being abused, exploited and trafficked. The best way of reducing this human misery is by extending the GLA to cover construction and other sectors where casualised vulnerable workers are regularly employed.”

The report also recommends that in order to reduce human trafficking that it is essential that the GLA must not be diverted from its primary function of licence monitoring and that the reduction in its powers and authority by the Conservative-led Government must be reversed. It also argues that cases of labour exploitation should be prosecuted and punished in a manner commensurate with the severity of the exploitation. The report further calls on a change of the law so that migrant workers are entitled to employment rights regardless of their immigration status.

Mr Murphy added: “These proposals correctly target employers who are prepared to exploit vulnerable migrant workers. It is these workers who should be targeted and face criminal sanctions rather than the workers who suffer exploitation.

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