New Clause 1 — Enabling provision to enable the Gangmasters Licensing Authority to tackle modern day slavery

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury – in the House of Commons at 4:30 pm on 4th November 2014.

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Photo of David Hanson David Hanson Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 4:30 pm, 4th November 2014

The hon. Gentleman puts his finger on the point the Opposition made in Committee. Gangmasters are diversifying. They are moving into horticulture, catering and the care homes sector. I do not want to ruin his reputation, but the amendments he has tabled have the Opposition’s support, because he has indicated that measures can be taken to tighten up how we operate the current gangmaster legislation.

In his original Bill, my hon. Friend the Member for Paisley and Renfrewshire North sought to protect people who are exploited, but such legislation is also about supporting legitimate businesses working in those sectors who find themselves being undercut by people who are operating sharp practices. What is good for the horticulture, agriculture or shellfish collection sectors should be good for other sectors, such as care homes and construction. New clause 1 does not specify that, but simply says that the Minister has the power to extend legislation. I hope we can give her the power and make the case, both up to the election and I hope in my case beyond it, for introducing changes to improve how the legislation operates.