Boohoo to ‘act decisively’ on QC’s Leicester findings

Manchester-based online fashion giant Boohoo Group plc on Tuesday published the “terms of reference” of the independent review of its Leicester supply chain being led by Alison Levitt QC.

The company said it will “act decisively” on the independent review’s findings.

Boohoo is moving to address concerns about working conditions and pay rates in factories that supply the firm.

Boohoo’s brands also include and Nasty Gal as well as Oasis, Warehouse, MissPap, Karen Millen and Coast.

“The purpose of this independent review is to consider the group’s obligations and relevant duties of care in relation to the workforce in its Leicester supply chain,” said Boohoo.

“The group will act decisively on the independent review’s findings and look to embed its recommendations into its strategic planning to help restore confidence in the Leicester garment industry and increase transparency for all of our stakeholders.

Boohoo said the independent review’s key objectives include:

·    To investigate the allegations made in relation to the Leicester supply chain and determine whether they are well-founded

·    If they are, to consider the extent to which the group monitored its supply chain in Leicester and had knowledge of the allegations

·    To consider the group’s compliance with the relevant law

·    To make recommendations for the future in response to those findings.

The Group will provide an update on the findings of the report with its half year results for the six months ending August 31, 2020, on September 30, 2020.

Boohoo deputy chairman Brian Small said: “We are pleased to share the Terms of Reference for the upcoming Independent Review into our Leicester supply chain.

“We believe this demonstrates how seriously we, as a board, are treating the recent allegations into our supply chain.

“The Group is committed to delivering the highest standards of ethics, compliance and transparency.”

Boohoo added: “Articles have appeared in the Press alleging unacceptable working conditions and underpayment of workers at premises owned and controlled and operated by some of the company’s suppliers, principally in Leicester.

“The purpose of this independent Review, conducted by senior barrister Alison Levitt QC, is to consider the Boohoo Group’s obligations and relevant duties of care in relation to the workforce in its Leicester supply chain …

“This Review was instigated and commissioned by the Boohoo Group.

“However, the Review and Alison Levitt QC are independent of Boohoo. Ms Levitt QC is instructed by Jason Cropper of TLT LLP.  

“A team of solicitors from TLT LLP and two junior counsel will support Ms Levitt QC.

“Details of the governance and the methodology for the investigation will be agreed between Alison Levitt QC and TLT LLP. 

“It will include the issuing of a public call for evidence.”