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Gangmasters and temporary workers for the Olympics

HMRC are warning employers who plan to take on more staff for the Olympic and Paralympic Games to check their 'labour providers'. These 'labour providers' are agencies that supply temporary workers to meet seasonal and market demand and are sometimes called 'gangmasters'.

Businesses which may be affected include those in catering, food processing, construction, hotels, leisure and security.

HMRC has warned there is a risk that employers could unknowingly hire workers who are in the UK illegally or are earning below the National Minimum Wage. This could result in enquiries by HMRC and costs for the business, damaged reputation and even prosecution.

Marie-Claire Uhart, Director of Specialist Investigations, said:

'HMRC has found problems with fraud and unpaid taxes in the labour provider field and this might increase as companies employ more casual labour for the Games. HMRC routinely tackles attempts to defraud the Exchequer, including the use of false invoices and hijacked VAT registrations.'

'Businesses that use labour providers can help prevent these forms of tax abuse - and avoid involvement in fraudulent supply chains - by being alert and asking the right questions.'

The following link includes a list of questions which businesses should ask before using the services of a gangmaster.

Internet link: News release

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