Bishop of Leeds asks Government about action against modern slavery at hand car washes

On 9th May 2019 the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, received a written answer to three questions about forced labour exploitation in the hand car wash sector:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds:
1. HL15278 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the prevalence of forced labour exploitation in the hand car wash sector in England and Wales.
2. HL15279 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to address forced labour exploitation in the hand car wash sector.
3. HL15280 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the findings of the report by the University of Nottingham Rights Lab Safe Car Wash App Report, published on 7 April.

Baroness Williams of Trafford: The Government is committed to raising awareness and tackling labour exploitation in hand car washes. We have reformed the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, giving it a wider remit and police powers to investigate labour market offences, including modern slavery across all sectors of the economy.

Tackling labour exploitation at hand car washes has been the focus of increased law enforcement activity in recent years, with 195 operations led by the police and 19 led by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority since 2016.

We are also improving our evidence base to better understand the extent of the issue across the country and encourage reporting, so that the police and the GLAA can focus resources where they are needed. The Clewer Initiative’s Safe Car Wash App is supporting this work.