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Gangmaster settles claims brought under the Modern Slavery Act

The six claimants were trafficked to the UK from Lithuania after recruitment by an agent employed by the defendants, DJ Houghton Chicken Catching Services Ltd. The company were gangmasters and the men were then employed in the defendants' major chicken and egg supply business working gruelling hours in difficult conditions and being housed in overcrowded and dirty accommodation, provided with inadequate facilities to wash and rest, eat and drink and then subjected to intimidation and abuse. Additionally, they would often be required to travel to farms across the UK for days at a time, travelling for up to seven hours before their working day actually began and were provided with inadequate or no personal protective equipment and clothing. The men were paid less than the minimum wage and would frequently have deductions from their wages made on wholly spurious pretexts such as failing to wash a mug.

The claimants' claim has now been settled after proceedings were instituted in the High Court and after the High Court found in favour of the claimants on the substantive claims under the Modern Slavery Act.

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