Compliant & Ethical Employment Practices

Safeguarding workers

Operators must evidence that they operate compliant and ethical employment practices and treat their workers with dignity and respect.

Employment must be voluntary and freely chosen for all workers with no forced or bonded labour, nor any form of deposit payment taken in return for work (debt bondage) (Human trafficking, forced labour and debt bondage).

The car wash is free from any form of harassment, physical abuse or discipline, verbal abuse, bullying or any other form of intimidation / mistreatment (or threat of) (Equality and Discrimination).

All workers over the age of 18 doing shifts longer than 6 hours are given at least one uninterrupted break of a minimum of 20 minutes (workers under the age of 18 are entitled to more breaks) and that all workers over 18 get one day off in 7 (workers under the age of 18 are entitled to 2 days off in seven) (Rest breaks at work).

Checking workers legal right to work

You must check the legal right to work, keeping a photocopy of the original right to work documentation, for every single worker. If an ID card is provided ensure a copy of both sides are taken (Checking a job applicant’s right to work documents).

Car wash owners must not retain identity papers (except when it is necessary to check a worker’s entitlement to work in the UK, and then only until the check is complete). Copies of documentation held must be stored safely and securely at all times

Terms of engagement (contracts)

Record and keep safe the terms of engagement and personal details for all workers including full name, address and age if under 22.

The contract should clearly state the status of the worker i.e employed or self-employed.

Government guidance on employment contracts and what they should contain can be found here. Alternatively, your accountant may be able to assist you.

Payment of workers and record keeping

All employees should be registered with HMRC and have a valid PAYE number, accurately calculating and deducting tax, NI etc. from all employees’ pay and paying this amount to HMRC in a timely manner (PAYE Online for employers).

Payment must be in line with the current National Minimum Wage / National Living Wage levels as a minimum (National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates), with no unauthorised deductions or offsets (Understanding your pay).

All employees should be provided with a clear and itemised payslip at or before the time when wages/salary are paid. Payslips must specify gross and net amounts of earnings and the amounts/purposes of any deductions (Help for small firms: Handling pay and wages).

Workers with self-employed status must submit invoices for payment providing details of the services provided included number of days/hours worked and rate of pay.

Employment rights and benefits

Operators must ensure that the statutory rights of workers are provided including the right to holiday and sick pay, maternity/paternity/adoption leave/pensions etc. and that accurate records are maintained to document entitlements and use (Employment status).

If you provide accommodation for workers

Whilst it is not recommended, if operators provide accommodation for workers they will be expected to demonstrate that it:

  • Meets building controls,
  • Has appropriate planning permission
  • Where designated as a House of Multiple Occupation it meets the criteria of the Local Authority in which it is situated

If deductions are made for the provision of accommodation, they must be compliant with National Minimum Wage Offset guidelines.

Providing transport for workers

If an Operator provides transport, they will need to demonstrate:

  • That the transport for the employees is optional, and any charge for transport does not breach  NMW offset guidelines.
  • That the vehicle used is fully insured, has an MOT and that the driver has a valid licence to drive in the UK.