Proposals that car washes should be licensed by the Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) have been welcomed by the PRA.

The proposal came from the director of Labour Market Enforcement, Sir David Metcalf in his Strategy for 2018/19.

The strategy sets out 37 recommendations to help stop the exploitation of vulnerable workers.

Sir David said: “I recommend licensing pilots for nail bars and car washes on a limited geographical basis in the coming year. I shall look forward in 2018 to meeting stakeholders keen on extending licensing in particular sectors to provide stronger evidence of its potential benefits and practicalities of implementation.

PRA chairman Brian Madderson, who also chairs the Car Wash Association (CWA), commented: “Sir David acknowledges that there are problems with unregulated hand car washes beyond human trafficking and slavery which may involve tax evasion and inappropriate handling of sometimes toxic trade effluent.

“The PRA and CWA is pressing for urgent action on the potential loss of tax from HMRC both directly and through the Treasury Select Committee and for action on environmental issues which has recently been taken up by the formal Inquiry of the Environmental Audit Committee.”