The Car Wash Association (CWA) has welcomed the launch of the Responsible Car Wash Scheme, believing it should prove valuable for improving compliance in existing hand car washes.
The scheme which was launched today (Monday 22 October 2018) at the House of Lords, has been developed by the the Downstream Fuel Association alongside the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA), Police, the Health and Safety Executive, HMRC, the Environment Agency and the Car Wash Association.
It aims to tackle modern slavery and a lack of compliance within the industry; and will target labour abuse and lack of adherence to regulations at hand car washes, while enabling consumers to identify a compliant car wash.
CWA chairman Brian Madderson said: “The CWA welcomes the launch of the Responsible Car Wash Scheme, which should prove valuable for improving compliance in existing hand car washes."
But he cautioned: “While this is welcome news and will allow hand car washes to look after their workers, trade legally, adhere to environmental regulations and take care of their customers, it still leaves open the issue of the 20,000 hand car washes in the UK that operate illegally.
“Problems also include environmental damage from mishandling trade effluent, widespread disregard of the National Minimum Wage, modern slavery human trafficking and tax avoidance. Figures suggest that hand car washes are failing to pay taxes, and up to £1.45bn per year in tax is not being collected by HMRC.
“While this scheme is set to be a positive move for the sector, more needs to be done in tackling illegal hand car washes and bringing an end to modern slavery.”