Gangmaster licensing appeals: challenge a licence decision

How to appeal to a tribunal if you disagree with a Gangmasters Licensing 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 (eg as an employment agency) 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

When you appeal, the licensing decision will normally be put on hold until the tribunal has considered your case.

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 of receiving the decision from the GLA.

If your licence is cancelled with immediate effect, you have to appeal within 10 working days.

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 and guidance leaflet.

Clearly state why you want to appeal against the decision.

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

Send the form to or:

England, Wales and Scotland

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

Telephone: 0161 833 6103 or 0161 833 6106
Fax: 0870 739 4433

Northern Ireland

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

Phone: 028 9032 7666
Fax: 028 9025 0100

Help and advice

You can get advice on your appeal from a:

Tribunal staff can give you general guidance on how the process works, but cannot give you legal advice.

What happens next

In most cases:

  • the GLA will reply to your appeal within 20 working days
  • the tribunal will send you a copy of this reply
  • your case will decided within the following 20 working days

However, if your licence has already been revoked, your case will be ‘fast-tracked’ and the whole process should take less than 7 weeks.

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

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

The tribunal hearing

Your hearing (if you ask for one) will take place in a court or tribunal building.

The hearing will be attended by:

  • an employment judge (known as an ‘appointed person’) - who will decide on your case
  • a lawyer from the GLA
  • 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.

You or your representative will have the chance to:

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

The judge and GLA lawyer may also ask you questions.

The judge will normally tell you their decision at the end of the hearing.

The tribunal’s decision

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

You will also be told when the decision will come into effect.

This tribunal’s decision is usually final - you can’t appeal to another tribunal.

If you still want to challenge the decision, speak to a solicitor 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.

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.