The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answers on 27th June 2022:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked Her Majesties Government what assessment they have made of the Safe Car Wash App by the Clewer Initiative; and how many instances of modern slavery have been linked to car washes in the last 10 years.
Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con): The Government is fully committed to tackling the heinous crime of modern slavery, including when it manifests in car washes to ensure those who commit these crimes are brought to justice.
We welcome all initiatives that support the Government’s efforts to tackle labour exploitation, such as the ‘Safe Car Wash App’ by the Clewer Initiative.
The law enforcement community have been working directly with the Clewer Initiative to utilise the data from their application, which helps to identify car wash locations of concern and assists in understanding the number of such businesses.
Users of the app are advised to report potential offences to the Modern Slavery Helpline. The helpline will forward appropriate referrals to the police or Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority to assist the identification of potential victims and perpetrators of modern slavery.
The Government does not hold a breakdown of Modern Slavery cases linked to car washes. Published police recorded crime data can be found here: Police recorded crime and outcomes open data tables – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to raise awareness of the signs of modern slavery, particularly in businesses such as (1) car washes, and (2) nail bars.
Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con): The Government is fully committed to tackling the heinous crime of modern slavery, including when it manifests in car washes and nail bars to ensure those who commit these crimes are brought to justice.
The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) protects vulnerable and exploited workers and investigates all aspects of labour exploitation across all sectors in England and Wales. A key element of the GLAA’s role is to support businesses to prevent modern slavery. As set out in its annual business strategy, the GLAA lead engagement with businesses to highlight the risks of modern slavery, and how to spot the signs.
Car washes are a sector identified by the Director of Labour Market Enforcement as high risk of modern slavery and exploitative practice. The Home Office has funded two pilots of the Responsible Car Wash Scheme (RCWS) to examine the efficacy of industry led accreditation, and its code of practice, to raise compliance in hand car washes. RCWS worked closely with the GLAA and the Clewer Initiative on these pilots. We await independent evaluation reports of the pilots.
The GLAA is also working in partnership with the Clewer Initiative and Project Challenger from Greater Manchester to improve understanding of the scale and nature of modern slavery and exploitative practices in the nail bar industry. Findings from this work will help to inform future initiatives to prevent exploitation in this sector.