Quiz has suspended a supplier after it was reported that a Leicester factory offered a worker £3 an hour to make clothes.
Factory bosses allegedly told an undercover reporter for The Times she would have to undertake two days of unpaid work before moving onto a rate of £3-£4 an hour, well below the UK’s minimum wage of £8.72 an hour for over 25s.
The factory reportedly manufactures clothing for the retailer Quiz.
Quiz said it is currently investigating the allegations, which if found to be accurate are “totally unacceptable”.
The move follows Boohoo’s announcement of an independent investigation following similar allegations at a Leicester factory supplying the brand.
Quiz said: “From our initial review, we believe that one of Quiz’s suppliers based in Leicester has used a subcontractor in direct contravention of a previous instruction from Quiz. It is this subcontractor that is subject of the national living wage complaint. Quiz has immediately suspended activity with the supplier in question pending further investigation.”
“In addition to taking immediate action on this incident, the board commits to a full review of the group's current auditing processes to ensure they are robust enough to ensure ongoing compliance with our ethical code of practice throughout the group's supply chain.”
Quiz said suppliers who fail to comply with this code “will be terminated” and added it is “in the advanced stages of appointing an independent third-party partner to provide more regular audits of suppliers in the Leicester region”.
A Leicester factory supplying online fast-fashion retailer Boohoo was alleged to have paid staff £3.50 an hour, according to a Sunday Times investigation.
Retailers including ASOS, Next and Zalando have since pulled clothes by Boohoo from their websites in response to the claims.
Boohoo has also been accused of putting workers rights at risk of Covid-19 infections with workers told to come into work even if they showed symptoms, according to campaign group Labour Behind the Label.
Dame Sara Thornton, the UK’s independent anti-slavery commissioner, said some brands had stopped sourcing from Leicester due to concerns about modern slavery.
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