GLAA revokes licence of Southampton-based recruiter

The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) has revoked the licence of a Southampton-based recruitment agency with immediate effect.

After investigators uncovered a number of serious failings during an inspection, First Choice Recruitment (South) Ltd will be unable to supply workers into any of the GLAA-regulated sectors, with the prospect of criminal prosecution if it does not comply.

According to a statement, released by the GLAA this morning, a GLAA compliance investigation found a total of six breaches of the authority’s licensing standards, half of which were serious enough on their own for the recruitment agency to have its licence revoked.

GLAA officers reported concerns that the directorship of First Choice had twice changed hands since 2018 without the business notifying the authority within the required 20 working day timeframe.

These concerns caused the GLAA to decide that First Choice had not been candid in its dealings with them, nor had demonstrated a willingness to comply with its regulations. Further issues were discovered involving nominated principal authority (PA) Izabela Zalasinska, who was put forward for the role by company director Adnaan Hussain.

Over the inspection, the GLAA found that Zalasinska could not provide information about basic employment rights such as holiday pay and entitlement, workplace pensions and overtime pay.

Inspectors also noted Zalasinska failed to demonstrate she had control over the finances of the business, and the inspection revealed separate failings relating to data protection, grievance policies and workers’ contracts.

Workers interviewed as part of the inspection told the GLAA that issues around missing payslips and incorrect wages remained unresolved.

Consequently, taking all these factors into consideration, the GLAA concluded that Zalasinska did not have the required competence to be PA of a licensed business. HM Revenue & Customs also confirmed to the GLAA that the business owed substantial Crown debt.

GLAA officers wrote to First Choice in January 2020 informing the business that its licence would be revoked. The GLAA added it has received no appeal within the required period.

Recruiter contacted First Choice Recruitment (South) for comment. This story will be updated upon receipt of their reply.

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