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Our “Why Choose Gallowglass” series showcases why we are a great events crew to hire and explores our unique selling points. The second edition looks at the legal side of the business.


We first started considering and implementing CSR in 2007, with the introduction of a sub-zero carbon footprint using offsetting against our power and vehicle usage. It was backed up by the installation of uber-efficient lighting in our offices to reduce our electrical usage and also ease the burden on our office staff.

In 2011, our credentials were further enhanced when we were accredited for ISO9001 (Quality Management). Subsequently and in addition, we have established and maintained accreditation for ISO’s 14001:2015 (Environmental Management), 45001:2018 (Occupational Health & Safety) and 20121:2012 (Event Sustainability Management Systems).

These are considered important and credible enough for us to ensure that they are independently audited to demonstrate that we do not just pay lip service to it!

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Following on from our ‘firsts’ of issuing all crew with PPE and H&S training, Gallowglass were the first event crewing business to insist on all of their drivers carrying the appropriate licences for all plant. Forklift, telehandler and cherry picker drivers were all required to complete training and certification.

In addition, when we qualify new drivers now, we ensure that they acquire some suitable experience before they are allowed out onsite.


From the 6th of April in 2020, liability for freelancers’ tax will be borne by the ultimate client. So if you have self-employed crew on YOUR site, their tax could be demanded from YOUR client!

Initially recognising the inherent risk of crew claiming to be self-employed when only engaged by a single employer, Gallowglass decided to ensure compliance with HMRC and insist that ALL of their crew came onto the books and earned PAYE.

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Consequently, all of our crew have been legal for nine years. Yes, this has come at a cost – some have left to work for other crewing companies that allowed them to retain their self-employed status.

The question is ‘do you KNOW if you are exposed or, perhaps worse, your client?’ ‘Can you take the risk?’. Others will tell you they are okay, but ignorance is not a defence.

Right to Work Checks

A few years ago, Gallowglass had several overseas crew members who had originated from countries that only permitted them to have two-year working visas. When they expired, the young people were obliged to return to their home country. Realising that this was the case, we explained to these young people that they could no longer work for us.

While disappointing for us to lose the experience from the crew, it was also tough for those members as they would have to face up to the fact of returning to the likelihood of no work and sometimes dreadful conditions. Many chose to take their chances and took themselves to other crewing companies who welcomed them with open arms.

For every new recruit arriving at one of our offices, we go through the trouble of proof of leave to stay, checking their visa’s, their passports and their national insurance numbers. Some of our competitors do not worry about this.

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General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) came into force in May 2018. They are a set of EU rules that replaced the Data Protection Act regulations. In the UK, they are managed by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

One of the best ’Introduction to GDPR’ articles I have read so far is written by Mike Smith of Grown-Up Solutions: A Grown-up Guide to the GDPR.

What We Have Done:

  • A full data audit – yes, it was painful!
  • Engaged in extensive staff awareness training programs from our Chairman down.
  • Engaged in staff technical training to ensure they knew how to use simple ways of protecting Personally Identifiable Information; like password protecting word and excel files when containing sensitive information. We also made this information available on our blog as we thought others might find it useful.
  • Cleaned out any old personally identifiable data that we had been storing and didn’t need any longer (e.g. old employee records) and introduced procedures to manage this going forwards.
  • Ensured that we are storing personally identifiable information in a secure and auditable way, and only retaining it if it is required contractually (e.g. employee details for paying them, client details for communicating with them about their orders).
  • Brought in procedures to ensure that we are compliant with GDPR when passing across crew details as they have a right to know who their data has been shared with and that only the data that is legitimately required is passed across.
  • Developed parts of our crew app to facilitate passing key information to our clients without them having to hold that information, thus helping them with their GDPR compliance.
  • Brought in procedures to manage a data-related incident, should one occur.
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We take it seriously because we do actually believe in protecting our crew’s personal information, and we want to do our best to protect them from unpleasant people who would potentially like to steal their identities.

Our clients work with big organisations like Google and Facebook, and we all know how much the EU like to take potshots at them – a fine based on the global earnings of a company like Google would not be fun to deal with.

If you are interested in hiring an event crew in the UK, then why not consider Gallowglass for your next event? You can give us a call on 0345 300 2468 or email us at

Alternatively, you can visit our Get A Quote page to get a quick response on how much our service would cost, or you could head over to our social media channels to learn a little more about us.

The first edition of our “Why Choose Gallowglass” series explored our innovation, so why not take a look?

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Conor Hourihan

Business Development Manager, Gallowglass Group Posted on 23 Mar 2020
About the author
A Music Production graduate, Conor has spent the last 19 years in customer service roles. Joining Gallowglass initially as a Crewman, his talent for gaining clients' trust and forming lasting relationships, made him a shoo-in for our business development and marketing team. When he's not liaising with clients, Conor is our visuals expert - overseeing video content and imagery for our website, app and new vehicle and uniform branding.
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