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Lord Cope of Berkeley: My Lords, my reading of the amendment is that licences will required for unpaid clampers. Those who are paid or who carry out wheelclamping as an owner will already be caught by the Bill. The first example that occurred to me is that of someone who clamps or who arranges for clamping to be carried out on his property but who sends his wife--or maybe one of his larger sons would be more appropriate--to do it. They would not be paid for carrying out the clamping and would not be caught by the Bill as it is presently drafted. The Minister gave

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some other examples of what might happen. Clearly, there is a potential loophole in this context that we want to be closed. I hope and believe that the amendment will do so.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

3.15 p.m.

Lord Thomas of Gresford moved Amendment No. 5:

    Page 3, line 45, at end insert ("; or

(k) he is required in the course of his employment to engage in licensable conduct falling within paragraph (b)").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, your Lordships will recall that I moved a similar amendment during the Bill's Committee stage. The answer that I received then was that the amendment was unnecessary because it would involve double vetting of security staff; a company will vet its staff, but requiring a licence from the authority would be an uncalled for double precaution. I have considered that argument. The amendment is intended to obtain a firm undertaking from the Minister to the effect that he will ensure that the authority will bear in mind the potential loophole. The loophole was noticed by the Government when they produced the White Paper, which states:

    "The Government believes that to exclude in-house security personnel from the scope of licensing would create an unacceptable loophole and reduce confidence in the system".

My concern is that should it so happen that firms seek to circumvent the Bill simply by employing unlicensed staff when in ordinary circumstances they would have employed licensed staff through a company--if that loophole exists--the authority will quickly bring the situation to the attention of the Secretary of State, who will remedy it, if necessary through regulations. I beg to move.

Lord Gladwin of Clee: My Lords, there is some concern in the industry about the exclusion of in-house security staff not so much from the point of view of a company that decides to shift from contracting arrangements to employing its own security staff in-house, but the other way round. If a firm decides that its security arm is going to be contracted out, contractors will be required under the TUPE regulations to take on board security employees who are in the company but who are unlicensed. A contractor may therefore say, "Those employees are no good to me because they do not have licences". Alternatively, he might say, "They are okay, they have been doing the job, but they will have to go and get a licence and pay for it themselves". Employees in the industry are concerned about whether the impact of the TUPE regulations has been considered.

Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, I understand that the amendment is intended to provide for the inclusion of "in-house" or directly employed staff in the licensing regime. That was certainly the effect that the noble Lord described when he introduced the amendment at an earlier stage.

I am grateful to noble Lords for raising the matter again, not least because I did not respond to it as substantially as I could have done in Committee.

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I believe that our position on this issue is well-known, notwithstanding what I have just said. None the less, the amendment provides me with an opportunity to explain the Government's position again.

As the noble Lord said, in the White Paper we envisaged that "in-house" manned guards, along with other groups that are the subject of the amendment, should be included in the licensing regime. However, after further careful consideration we decided not to include them at this stage because we concluded that requiring all in-house manned guards to undergo effectively two vetting processes--by the employer and the authority--would add a largely unnecessary layer of bureaucracy to business. In my view, there is bureaucracy and unnecessary bureaucracy, and we believe that the proposal would contribute to the latter.

The Bill does, of course, seek in any event to regulate some in-house staff--door supervisors and wheelclampers--for reasons that we have debated before; namely, the particular positions of influence and power that those groups exercise over people who may be young or vulnerable or both.

In general, we believe that it is reasonable at present for companies to satisfy themselves about the probity of their own employees or potential employees, as distinct from situations in which services are provided under contract and the hirer has to place a greater degree of trust in the probity of the hired staff. As with the other groups that are the subject of Amendment No. 40--that is, alarm installers and CCTV operatives--we are aware of the arguments for the inclusion of those groups in the Bill's regulatory regime. Indeed, as I noted earlier, we shared those views at the time of the publication of our White Paper. We do not believe, on reflection, that it is currently right to add that group to the provisions. When the security industry authority is established, it will have a duty to keep the industry and the operation of legislation under review. I have no doubt that the authority will receive arguments about in-house staff, and the Government will be very happy to listen to those views in due course. For the present, however, I should like us to get on with regulating those priority groups that are listed in the Bill; at earlier stages, we discussed what those groups might be. I hope that for those reasons the noble Lord will feel able to withdraw the amendment.

My noble friend Lord Gladwin of Clee asked whether the effects of TUPE had been considered. The fairest thing to say is that the question of whether TUPE applies depends on the facts of the case. In some circumstances, it will most certainly apply. The policy remains that contract staff should be licensed. If new contractual arrangements apply, so will the Bill's provisions. I hope that that clarifies my noble friend's point. If he has further questions, we shall try to deal with them during the Bill's passage through the House.

Lord Thomas of Gresford: My Lords, having received the assurance from the Minister that the matter will be reviewed regularly by the authority and that the appropriate representations will be made to

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the Government on this possible loophole which may be taken advantage of, I am prepared to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord Bassam of Brighton moved Amendment No. 6:

    Page 3, line 50, at end insert--

("( ) For the purposes of this section a person shall not be treated as acting as the manager or supervisor of an individual by reason only of his giving directions to that individual in a case in which--
(a) the directions are given on behalf of a person to whom the individual's services are provided under a contract for services; and
(b) the person who under the contract provides the individual's services or another person acting on his behalf, acts as the manager or supervisor of that individual in relation to the activities carried out by him in accordance with those directions.").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this amendment seeks to respond to an issue raised in Committee and to deal with it by adding a further clarificatory explanation as regards the categories of people to whom the licensing requirements of the Bill will apply.

It was suggested in Committee by the noble Lord, Lord Cope, and the noble Viscount, Lord Goschen, that managers or personnel directors of businesses who employ security firms under contracts for services may themselves require licences under the terms of Clause 3(2)(d) as drafted. The noble Viscount, Lord Goschen, referred to concerns raised originally with officials by the Cinema Exhibitors Association which feared that cinema managers might require a licence from the authority for the one or two days a year when they might find themselves managing an extra draft of security staff contracted in for a special gala event.

The Bill requires licences for everyone in the employment hierarchy where door supervisors and wheel clampers are concerned, whether employed in-house or under contract. That is for particular reasons of public concern which I have explained to your Lordships on previous occasions. However, it has never been part of the Government's policy in regulating the private security industry that users of security services should be licensed. The prime focus of the Bill is to provide reassurance for users about the providers of contract security services.

So I should put on record my gratitude to noble Lords opposite for raising the matter and for giving voice to the concerns of the Cinema Exhibitors Association on this issue. On reflection, we can see how the drafting of Clause 3(2)(d) might lend itself to the concerns previously expressed. Therefore, for the avoidance of doubt, this amendment seeks to add clarification in Clause 3 to the effect that managers and supervisors in client companies are not covered by the licensing regime, regardless of whether they are managing or supervising contracted-in staff directly or through what might be described as intermediate managers who have also been contracted in. For those reasons, I commend the amendment to the House.

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