Last reviewed 8 July 2020

Media reports have put the spotlight on allegedly unsafe working conditions in the clothing industry in Leicester, with the low-cost fashion retailer Boohoo issuing a statement pledging to investigate its supply chains, as the city was put under a localised lockdown due to a surge in Covid-19 cases in the area.

The announcement from the company came after an undercover Sunday Times reporter found that workers at Jaswal Fashions, a clothing factory in Leicester, were being paid £3.50 an hour despite the National Minimum Wage of £8.72 an hour for workers over 25.

The report also described few people wearing masks or practising social distancing despite the lockdown in the Leicester area.

Another report, from the campaign group Labour Behind the Label, claims that low pay of as little as £3 an hour has been a feature of work at certain factories in Leicester for “years”.

The report also claims that conditions in some factories, primarily producing for Boohoo, have been putting workers at risk of the Covid-19 virus, with some workplaces allegedly having remained open for production during the lockdown and others more recently reopening.

In response to the revelations, a recent statement from Boohoo said, “We are taking immediate action to thoroughly investigate how our garments were in their hands, will ensure that our suppliers immediately cease working with this company, and we will urgently review our relationship with any suppliers who have subcontracted work to the manufacturer in question.”