Parliamentary committee calls for licensing of hand car washes

Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee has demanded car washes be licensed to prevent the exploitation of workers.

In a statement released this morning, the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority revealed the committee had published a report calling for greater co-ordinated enforcement by government enforcement agencies to bring together all major compliance conditions under one, “easily enforceable” requirement.

The committee is also calling on the Environment Agency to work with the GLAA and other enforcement bodies to ensure that unannounced inspections of hand car washes are comprehensively investigated.

It adds government should review whether the Modern Slavery Act 2015 could be updated to cover businesses such as small as hand car washes.

GLAA director of strategy Darryl Dixon said the body would study the report and its recommendations in full: “At the moment the GLAA does not have inspection powers outside our licensed sector, so it is important we build support through a code of standards to improve compliance and protect workers.

“A crucial aspect of our support for the Responsible Car Wash Scheme is that those who are accredited agree to be inspected. This also assists us in ensuring that we deploy our enforcement officers to the most serious allegations of labour exploitation.”

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