Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
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Mastering better regulation
The Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) has made good progress putting better regulation principles into practice according to a new report from the Better Regulation Executive published today.
The report, part of a series of reviews of national regulators, examined how the GLA matched up to the principles of effective regulation set out by Philip Hampton in 2005. The GLA regulates businesses that provide workers to farming, the food industry and related sectors which employ up to 450,000 workers or around ten per cent of the UK employment agency sector. The report found that the GLA:
has had an impressive impact in improving the working conditions for some vulnerable workers;is a learning organisation that is open and responsive to external challenge; andhas been effective in building consensus on the best regulatory solutions amongst a diverse set of stakeholders.
Despite making real progress in implementing better regulation principles into its work, the report also identified some issues the GLA needed to address to improve its performance further, including working with a wider range of partners to improve its intelligence gathering. The GLA had built strong relationships with HMRC and the Police but could explore other potential sources of information from the agricultural sector. The GLA could also benefit by clarifying its decision making process in licensing cases, to help stakeholders understand how better to comply and avoid prosecution.
Notes to Editors
The Better Regulation Executive’s full report on the Gangmasters Licensing Authority can be found at www.bis.gov.uk/ The Gangmasters Licensing Authority was created in April 2005 under the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004 with its core remit to regulate those who provide labour into farming and the food industry.The review team was drawn from the Better Regulation Executive within the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and from government and the regulatory sector, including the NAO, Consumer Focus and Animal Health.The Hampton Implementation Review process, that will examine a total of 31 national regulators, follow two independent reports by Sir Philip Hampton and Professor Richard Macrory on making inspection and enforcement of regulation more effective. The Hampton Review in 2005 - led by Sir Philip Hampton - recommended an end to the one size fits all approach to regulation and that regulators should take a risk-based approach to enforcement and information gathering. Among its findings were that regulators should carry out inspections only when needed and avoid unnecessary form-filling and duplication of effort or information. In 2006 Professor Richard Macrory's review of penalties for failure to comply with regulatory obligations recommended that regulators should focus on outcomes, rather than action. He recommended that sanctions should be aimed at changing the behaviour of non-compliant businesses and eliminating any financial gain from non-compliance. Examples of how individuals and businesses are benefiting from changes to regulation can be found on www.betterregulation.gov.uk. The site also invites suggestions for what else can be done to reduce red tape.
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