Government accused of failing exploited staff

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The retail trade has accused the federal government of failing to behave on the exploitation of UK garment staff.

In a second letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) mentioned there was no “important motion… to convey this injustice to an finish”.

The BRC, which signed the letter with MPs, estimates staff have misplaced £27m in unpaid earnings since July.

The Home Office mentioned it was working to stamp out exploitation and abuse.

In July, corporations together with Marks & Spencer, Next and Asos – together with traders, MPs and human rights teams – known as on the federal government to implement a scheme to make sure textile staff had been paid a authorized minimal wage.

The group’s letter to Ms Patel mentioned: “We are writing as a broad coalition of parliamentarians, companies, traders and civil society organisations about our considerations relating to the unethical labour practices happening in garment factories throughout the UK.

“We request that pressing motion is taken by the federal government to implement a ‘match to commerce’ licensing scheme that ensures all garment factories are assembly their authorized obligations to their workers.”

That letter adopted revelations about circumstances in textile factories in Leicester that prompted style group Boohoo to launch an pressing assessment into its suppliers.

A Sunday Times investigation about circumstances in Leicester factories discovered that some employees had been paid under the authorized minimal and labored with out coronavirus security measures in place.


But within the second letter to the house secretary, disclosed on Sunday, the BRC and Dr Lisa Cameron MP, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Textiles & Fashion, mentioned there had been little response.

Helen Dickinson, chief government of the BRC, mentioned: “Despite quite a few reviews within the media, and a earlier letter to the house secretary signed by over 50 MPs and friends and greater than 40 retailers, traders and NGOs, we’ve got not seen any important motion from authorities to convey this injustice to an finish.

“All the whereas garment staff are robbed of tens of hundreds of thousands of kilos in wages.”

The BRC mentioned that though it had mentioned the plight of garment staff with officers since July, it had not acquired an official response to its first letter.

The MPs’ group has estimated that greater than 10,000 garment manufacturing unit staff are being paid a median of £3.50 an hour – properly under the National Minimum Wage of £8.72.

Dr Cameron mentioned: “It is important the house secretary takes motion to introduce a licensing scheme for UK garment producers and places the rights of staff on the coronary heart of the trade.”

But the Home Office mentioned it was unsuitable to counsel nothing was being finished, including that dangerous employers had been being focused by the authorities to make sure they complied with the legislation.

In a press release to the BBC, the Home Office mentioned: “Exploiting weak staff for business achieve is despicable and we anticipate companies to do all they’ll to deal with abuse and exploitation of their provide chains.

“We are deeply involved by the appalling reviews of unlawful and unsafe working circumstances for garment staff in Leicester, and can guarantee perpetrators face the total power of the legislation if proof involves gentle by means of the work of our new specialist Taskforce, led by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority.”

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