Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Session 2002-03
17 March 2003 GANGMASTERS
New Inquiry Announced

Session 2002-03
17 March 2003 GANGMASTERS
New Inquiry Announced

The Committee has decided to appoint a Sub-committee (to be chaired by Colin Breed MP) to undertake an inquiry into the activities of gangmasters in the agricultural and horticultural industries.  It has decided that its terms of reference should be:

"The Committee will examine the activities of 'gangmasters' in the agricultural and horticultural industries.  It will in particular consider the activities of some gangmasters in employing illegal immigrants and benefit claimants, and who flout the Working Time Directive and the National Minimum Wage.  The impact of illegal activities on:

  1. legitimate gangmasters;

  2. farmers and other hirers;

  3. the competitiveness and viability of certain agricultural practices; and

  4. supermarkets and other retailers will also be considered.

 The Committee will also look at what might be done to combat illegal activity by gangmasters, and to improve the lot of casual workers."

The Committee invites written evidence on the subject by Friday 25 April.  [The form which such evidence should take is set out below - please note in particular the restriction on length and that it should be submitted by e-mail or on disk].

Oral evidence sessions will be arranged and will be announced in due course.

Written evidence must be submitted in an electronic format, either on disk or preferably by e-mail. It should be in Word or WordPerfect.  If sent by e-mail it should for this inquiry be sent to Richard Kelly .  The e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from.

Submissions should be as brief as possible, and certainly no more than 3,000 words. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and it would be helpful to include a brief executive summary.

Those submitting evidence are reminded that evidence should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted no public use should be made of it, but those wishing to publish their evidence before it is published by the Committee are invited to contact the Clerk of the Committee to obtain permission to do so.

Further details of the Committee, including its current membership, can be found on the Committee's homepage.  Information about the Committee can also be obtained from 020 7219 3262.