GLAA revokes Cornish gangmaster’s licence

A Cornish gangmaster has been shut down by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA).

Neringa Butkeviciute, owner of DNK Recruitment, systematically exploited her workers through skimming off their pay, sending them to work double shifts with insufficient breaks and charging them to live in unhygienic and unsafe caravans.

Butkeviciute operated her business out of the Bosparva Caravan Park in Leedstown, Hayle, where she provided workers for various roles in the GLAA regulated sector.

But an inspection was carried out to check on how the licence holder was running her business after DNK was reported to the GLAA. 

The GLAA found Butkeviciute sent her workers out with insufficient breaks to boost her own profits, failed to pay them all they were due and also charged for accommodation in caravans that were deemed both unsanitary and unsafe.

Her company failed eight of the authority’s Licensing Standards – four of them ‘critical’ – racking up a total of 144 penalty points. (A licence can be revoked after the discovery of one critical failure, which carries 30 points.)

In one example, one worker started work at 17:47 at a fish-processing factory, finished at 04:17 the next day, and then was supplied by DNK to work at another site from 06:00 to 18:30. Over a two-day period the employee worked 24 hours and 43mins, with a break of only 1hr 43min.

The GLAA’s head of licensing Charlotte Woodliffe said: “The GLAA licensing scheme exists to protect vulnerable workers. In cases like this, where the bottom line appears to be the only thing that matters at the cost of the health & safety of its employees, then we have no hesitation in taking away a gangmaster’s licence.”

Enquiries found that the 29-year-old businesswoman from Camborne had been providing workers to harvest and process crops at a nearby vegetable producer, as well as a seafood processing factory in the South-West.

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