Wage rules breach at car wash

Midweek Visiter - - News -

ACAR wash in South­port has been hit with a “large fine” af­ter pay­ing be­low the min­i­mum wage and breach­ing health and safety laws.

A man in his 20s was also ar­rested for im­mi­gra­tion of­fences af­ter of­fi­cers raided the Handy Andy Car Wash at Dob­bies Gar­den Cen­tre in Birk­dale.

Po­lice, along with part­ners from Her Majesty’s Rev­enue and Cus­toms, the Health and Safety Ex­ec­u­tive, Gang­mas­ters and Labour Abuse Autho rity (GLAA) and Op­er­a­tion Sanc­tu­ary joined forces to un­der­take a war­rant as the premises was sus­pected to be com­mit­ting hu­man traf­fick­ing of­fences.

The raid was car­ried out at around 10am on Thurs­day in re­sponse to in­for­ma­tion that the premises was in­volved in mod­ern slav­ery of­fences.

Fol­low­ing wel­fare in­ter­views with all 12 mem­bers of staff, it was iden­ti­fied that the premises was op­er­at­ing il­le­gally in re­la­tion to min­i­mum wage of­fences and breached health and safety rules.

De­tec­tive Su­per­in­ten­dent John Web­ster said: “I’d like to take this op­por­tu­nity to thank the of­fi­cers and part­ners... in­volved in in­ves­ti­gat­ing this case.

“We are com­mit­ted to pro­tect­ing the pub­lic, and in do­ing so we’ll con­tinue work­ing with part­ner agen­cies to pre­vent this type of crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity.

“Mod­ern slav­ery is a de­spi­ca­ble of­fence and abuses the vic­tim’s hu­man rights. We there­fore en­cour­age the re­port­ing of this type of crime and I would urge any­one who has any in­for­ma­tion re­lat­ing to Mod­ern Slav­ery or hu­man traf­fick­ing to con­tact 101, or anony­mously through the Mod­ern Slav­ery Helpline on 0800 0121700.”

A spokesman for Dob­bies Gar­den Cen­tres said: “The Handy Andy car wash at Dob­bies South­port is op­er­ated by an in­de­pen­dent fran­chisee.

“We have ro­bust pro­ce­dures in place to en­sure all Dob­bies em­ploy­ees are el­i­gi­ble to work within the UK, and would ex­pect all of our third-party con­ces­sions to up­hold the same stan­dards.

“There­fore, we are tak­ing this sit­u­a­tion ex­tremely se­ri­ously and have launched our own in­ves­ti­ga­tion with the fran­chise owner.

“We will take ac­tion de­pend­ing on the out­comes of both the po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion and our own.”

The Handy Andy Car Wash fran­chise op­er­ates at the Dob­bies site in South­port, but staff are em­ployed in­de­pen­dently of the gar­den cen­tre chain

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