Letter demands licensing of garment factories

More than 50 MPs and Peers alongside leading retailers, as well as the Association of Labour Providers, are calling on the home secretary Priti Patel to take urgent action to prevent the exploitation of garment workers in the UK.

In an open letter, the signatories call for the statutory licensing of garment factories to ensure they meet all their legal obligations to employees and are fit to trade. 

The call for the government to take action comes in the wake of allegations in a Sunday newspaper that workers producing clothes for Boohoo in Leicester were being paid below the National Minimum Wage, and were working in unsafe conditions conducive to the spread of Covid. Boohoo said it was committed to driving up standards where needed, to ensure anyone making clothes for the firm in Leicester was paid at least the NMW, was fairly treated and was safe at work.

The scheme would:

  • Protect workers from forced labour, debt bondage and mistreatment, ensuring payment of NMW, VAT, PAYE, National Insurance, holiday pay, and health & safety.
  • Create a level playing field for businesses to compete fairly and prevent rogue businesses from undercutting compliant manufacturers.
  • Encourage retailers to source their clothing from the UK, supporting the development of an ethical, world-leading industry.

Meanwhile, in a reminder that labour exploitation remains a serious problem, staff from the Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) rescued a Romanian woman believed to be a potential victim of modern slavery from a house in Haverhill Suffolk.

As part of the investigation, the GLAA has identified a further woman and four men who are potential victims of exploitation. 

• Comment below on this story. Or let us know what you think by emailing us at [email protected] or tweet us to tell us your thoughts or share this story with a friend.

FINANCIALS: Staffline expects revenues and GP to increase

Recruitment and training group Staffline expects its H1 2021 revenues to reach £450.7m, an increase of 4.7% from the same period last year.

Financials 28 July 2021

CitySprint recruits 600 couriers, carwow headhunts 50

UK same day distribution company CitySprint is looking for an extra 600 couriers, with the business focusing primarily on couriers with small and large vans.

28 July 2021

Grocery delivery firm Beelivery to create 50,000 UK jobs

An on-demand grocery delivery business has announced that it is aiming to recruit 50,000 people across the UK, according to news site Bdaily News.

19 July 2021

Halfords launches recruitment drive for 700 jobs

UK biking and automotive specialist Halfords is looking to create hundreds of jobs across the country.

19 July 2021