A major West Yorkshire recruitment business was refused a licence by the GLA after refusing to provide sufficient details relating to its travel and expenses scheme.
The Transline Group, parent of Qualitycourse, the company involved, denies any wrongdoing.
Qualitycourse supplied temporary workers to assemble pizzas for the retail sector. Supplying workers to perform roles in food processing requires a licence from the GLA. A GLA statement did not identify the clients to whom Qualitycourse supplied the pizzas.
The company had held a licence since 2006 but allowed it to lapse through an administration error in July last year, a GLA statement said. A fresh application was submitted in which the company stated that it turns over £1m in the food-processing sector alone. However, when told an inspection of the company’s practices was required for the new licence, Qualitycourse requested that the application be treated in isolation, the GLA statement went on to say.
According to the GLA, throughout the subsequent inspection process, the business was obstructive and proved reluctant to provide any information about its operations under the lapsed licence.
The GLA established that a ‘salary sacrifice’ scheme was in operation at Qualitycourse – an agreement where an employee gives up the right to receive part of their pay, usually in return for some form of non-cash benefit.
The GLA said that Qualitycourse considered that the details requested about the scheme from the company about worker records and an apprenticeship programme being operated by the company were ‘not relevant’ to the GLA’s judgment.
However, the GLA statement said that they have a statutory responsibility and power to require any information to determine how workers are or will be treated to decide whether a company is compliant with it licensing standards. Failure to provide the information that will allow a fully-informed licence decision to be made is therefore in contravention of those standards.
A GLA spokesman told Recruiter
“when a dispensation from HMRC is held, we will investigate whether that dispensation is being complied with and whether the company has adequate procedures in place to verify the amount of expenses being incurred.
“These processes were followed in the case of Qualitycourse and, on the balance of the evidence provided, a decision was taken to refuse the application. The company had a right of appeal against this decision but chose to accept it rather than exercise that right.”