SAMB: Gangmaster law to hit bakeries

19 January, 2007
Page 9 
The Scottish Association of Master Bakers (SAMB) has warned bakers to be aware of new "poorly defined" gangmaster licensing laws.
The Gangmaster Licensing Act is primarily aimed at employment agencies, but also introduces a formal system of licensing workers on the processing and packaging side of bakery businesses, said SAMB chief executive Kirk Hunter.The SAMB is to submit a formal complaint to the Gangmaster Licensing Authority (GLA) about the Act, saying that it lacks clarity and does not provide enough information for food processors."The Gangmaster Licensing Act is poorly defined," said Hunter, who recently wrote to members making sure they are aware of the law. "Many bakers do not even realise the law is relevant to them because of its name," he added."We do not have a problem with licensing itself, we just hope that the authorities understand that it is going to take a bit of time for businesses to adjust."He advised members that: "If you are using agency workers for processing make sure they are from a licensed agency." The SAMB is also launching a campaign in opposition to the Food Standards Agency's 'scores on the doors' pilot scheme in Scotland.This encourages bakers to display hygiene certificates based on environmental health officers' reports. They will state either 'pass' or 'improvement required'. "We fear this is the first step on a slippery slope to forcing bakers to display food standard certificates," said Hunter. He added that the system is "unfair and inconsistent".



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