HC Deb 17 September 2003 vol 410 cc764-5W
Mr. Luff

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has to introduce a system of registration for gangmasters to ensure minimum standards of health and safety training for the staff they provide. [124890]

Mr. Bradshaw

I have been asked to reply.

The Government are working with organisations and businesses in the food chain to draw up a code of practice for gangmasters in the agriculture and fresh produce sectors and to devise a system of accreditation gangmasters who abide by this standard. The aim is to test whether a voluntary accreditation scheme combined with a readiness by businesses in the food chain to use accredited labour can achieve an improvement in employment practices in the sector. The option of a statutory registration requirement has not been ruled out if the accreditation approach proves insufficient. The proposed code of practice and the standard it will set would be a key element in either approach.

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