The licence was removed from a Boston recruitment agency when inspectors discovered a trio of known exploitative gangmasters were behind the illicit business.
An inspection of Sunrise East Ltd by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority in May 2019 found that principal authority Tracey Doughty had ‘no control over the company or any idea how it was run’.
After further investigations, GLAA concluded that the company was controlled by Gavin Overton, Ricky Gutteson and Ian Tebbs. Licences were removed previously for the latter two.
The trio were all involved with Boston recruitment agency Go Solutions Ltd. Its GLAA licence was revoked in December 2017 because of a multitude of failings including 12 breaches of licensing standards.
Despite the company appealing its licence was revoked. The judge determined workers were at risk of exploitation and some were not paid the National Minimum Wage, among other offences.
Sunrise East Ltd’s office in Boston is the same operation address as Go Solutions Ltd. HMRC also confirmed to the GLAA that the business owed substantial crown debt.
Sunrise East Ltd, of West End, Swaton, Sleaford, chose not to appeal the decision.
GLAA Head of Licensing Charlotte Woodliffe said: “The GLAA takes its commitment to protect vulnerable and exploited workers extremely seriously.
“We simply cannot allow a situation where those considered not fit and proper and who have had their licence revoked use another licensed business to circumvent the oversight of the GLAA to continue to exploit workers and evade tax.”
Acting as an unlicensed gangmaster is a criminal offence which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine.
SUBSCRIBE to Business Week, the new email newsletter from The Lincolnite and Lincolnshire Reporter, bringing you weekly features, analysis and a news roundup of the top stories by Stonebow Media. Sign up free to receive it every Thursday morning in your inbox. We won’t spam you or share your details with third parties, we promise!