Gangmaster licensing appeals: challenge a licence decision

How to appeal to a tribunal if you disagree with a Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority decision on a full or provisional gangmaster's licence.

What you can appeal against

You need a licence if you are involved in supplying workers for agriculture, horticulture, shellfish gathering or food processing and packaging. It is illegal to provide this labour without one.

You can appeal to a tribunal if:

  • you are refused a licence
  • your licence is revoked
  • extra conditions are added to your licence
  • your request to transfer the licence is turned down

Unless there has been a serious breach of your licence conditions, the licensing decision will be put on hold until the tribunal has considered your appeal.

The tribunal is independent of the government. A judge will listen to both sides of the argument before reaching a decision.

Time limits for appealing

You must normally appeal within 20 working days after the date of the decision document from the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA).

If your licence is revoked with immediate effect, you must appeal within 10 working days of the date of the decision document.

If you miss the time limit, you can apply for more time to appeal. The tribunal will decide if it can still take your case.

How to appeal

Use the notice of appeal form to make an appeal.

Clearly state why you want to appeal against the decision.

Include any supporting documents, like the GLAA’s decision. Mark each one as a ‘copy’.

Send the form to or:

England, Wales and Scotland

Gangmaster Licensing Appeals
Alexandra House
14 to 22 The Parsonage
M3 2JA

Telephone: 0161 833 6100

Northern Ireland

Office of the Industrial Tribunals and the Fair Employment Tribunal
Killymeal House
2 Cromeac Quay
Ormeau Road

Telephone: 028 9032 7666

Help and advice

Tribunal staff can give you general guidance on how the process works but cannot give you legal advice. Find legal advice and information for your appeal .

You can also get general information and advice from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau:

Citizen’s Advice

A charity and network of local charities, offering free, confidential advice online, over the phone, and in person. This includes advice on moving to and staying in the UK, including dealing with visas.

Chat online with an advisor
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Closed on bank holidays

Telephone: 0800 144 8848 (England), 0800 702 2020 (Wales)
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

Find a service near you (England only)

What happens next

In most cases:

  • the GLAA will reply to your appeal within 20 working days of receiving a copy of the notice of appeal from the tribunal
  • the tribunal will send you a copy of this reply
  • you will be assigned a case number, which you should use in any correspondence about your appeal
  • you will be asked how you want your appeal to be decided

You can ask for your appeal to be decided:

  • at a hearing in your local area – where you can put your case in person
  • without a hearing – using only the documents in the case

If you ask for your appeal to be decided without a hearing, the GLAA may still decide that a hearing is necessary. Hearings may take place by video or in person.

The tribunal may ask for more information or documents before the hearing or before it makes its decision.

The tribunal hearing

If you do have a hearing, the tribunal will get in touch to confirm the date. It will either take place in a court or tribunal building, or by video.

The hearing will be attended by:

  • an employment judge (known as an ‘appointed person’) – who will decide on your case
  • a representative from the GLAA
  • you and your representative, if you have one

The hearing may also be attended by members of the public or the press.

You can represent yourself or ask someone to speak for you – such as a lawyer, consultant, colleague, friend or relative.

If you need any reasonable adjustments to help you attend the hearing, email with your requirements.

You or your representative will have the chance to:

  • present your case to the judge
  • call witnesses
  • ask questions
  • present documents

The judge and the representative from the GLAA may also ask you questions.

The judge may adjourn the hearing if they have good reason to. This means they will pause or delay the hearing and move it to a new date.

If a decision is made, they will either tell you at the end of the hearing, or send it to you in writing afterwards.

Changing or withdrawing an appeal

If you need to change your appeal, or need to change or withdraw any evidence you’ve submitted in support, you must get the consent of the judge.

If you’d like to withdraw your appeal, you can do this at any time before a decision is made. If you do, you will not be able to submit a second appeal on the same grounds, in relation to the same licence decision.

The tribunal’s decision

The tribunal will normally send you a written copy of its decision within 4 weeks.

The decision may tell you when it will come into effect. If it does not give a specific date, then this will be 5 working days after the decision was sent to you.

This tribunal’s decision is usually final – you cannot appeal to another tribunal.

If you still want to challenge the decision, you should get legal advice as soon as possible about how to apply for judicial review.

Previous decisions

Search the list of appeal results to see how judges made decisions in previous cases.


If you are unhappy with the service you receive, you can send any complaints to We aim to respond to all feedback within 10 working days.

Legislation and rules

You can find the licensing rules and the right to appeal to the tribunal in the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004.

More detailed rules on how your case will be handled are contained in The Gangmasters (Appeals) Regulations 2006.

Published 11 September 2014
Last updated 25 August 2023 + show all updates
  1. Added information about submitting complaints. Updated hearings guidance to reflect that hearings can now take place by video. Updated the guidance around getting help and advice, and signposting to the Citizen's Advice Bureau. Updated contact information for appeals bodies.

  2. Update phone number

  3. Update email address

  4. First published.