It was interesting to see the comparison between gangmasters in the agricultural sector and those in construction (3 November, page 76).
Although it is doubtful that the gangmaster licence will be extended to construction, it is worth remembering that the behaviour outlined in the article is illegal.
Employers can protect themselves by using reputable agencies to source labour. Members of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) sign up to their code of professional practice. The REC also takes complaints from workers and clients.
A good agency will make checks on the right to work in the UK. The description of who is responsible for checks on immigration status is confused in the article. If a company hires temporary agency workers, the agency is responsible for immigration status. However, if the agency is used to source permanent workers, the liability rests with the client company. In the case of limited company contractors, the liability would depend on the way in which these contractors are hired.
Trevor Rees, chairman, Recruitment and Employment Confederation