Extend gangmaster legislation to protect construction workers, union urges

Fraud and exploitation within the construction industry are costing millions of pounds, the Labour Party conference has heard.

Alan Ritchie, general secretary of the construction union Ucatt, told delegates about “extreme abuses” in the construction industry.

He said that gangmasters are controlling exploited workers who, classed as self-employed, have no rights to sick pay, holiday pay or employment contracts.

Deductions for accommodation and transport left workers with as little as £8.80 a week, the Independent has reported.

Ritchie called on the government to extend the gangmasters licensing regulations to include the construction industry.

“Criminal gangs are setting up gangmaster operations in the construction industry and then disappear, making off with the tax and national insurance payments. It’s a multi million pound fraud,” he added.

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