Boohoo accused of risking virus spread in Leicester

Manchester-based online fashion giant Boohoo Group plc has been accused of risking the spread of coronavirus following allegations that factories in Leicester that supply Boohoo told staff to come into work during lockdown despite being sick.

Labour Behind the Label, a garment workers’ rights group, has produced a report called “Report: Boohoo & COVID-19: The people behind the profit.”

The report alleges: “Emerging evidence indicates that conditions in Leicester’s factories, primarily producing for Boohoo, are putting workers at risk of COVID-19 infections and fatalities.

“Factories in Leicester are no stranger to illegal working conditions, with numerous reports over the years showing low pay – as little as £3 – and blatant intimidation of vulnerable workers.

“Now however, emerging evidence indicates that conditions in Leicester’s factories, primarily producing for Boohoo, are putting workers at risk of COVID-19 infection and fatality as some factories have remained open for production during the lockdown, whilst others are now re-opening.”

Last week, Boohoo said it intends to implement a “management incentive plan” that will pay out up to a maximum of £150 million if the stock market value of the firm rises by 66% over a three-year performance scheme period.

Boohoo replied to the Labour Behind the Label allegations by saying: “The Boohoo group will not tolerate any incidence of non-compliance especially in relation to the treatment of workers within our supply chain.

“We have terminated relationships with suppliers where evidence of this is found.” 

The group said it would investigate the allegations and take any necessary action.

About the Author

Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.