An undercover investigation launched by The Times alleged that factory workers at a Quiz supplier were offered as little as £3 an hour to make clothes.
Bosses at the factory also told the undercover reporter that she would have to undertake two days of unpaid work before moving onto a rate of £3 to £4 an hour, in a factory where Quiz-branded jackets were seen.
Quiz is now investigating the reported allegations, which it said “if found to be accurate are totally unacceptable”.
From an initial review, however, the retailer believes that one of its suppliers has used a sub-contractor “in direct contravention” of its instructions, and has immediately suspended any activity with the supplier in question.
In a statement, the retailer said: “All suppliers to Quiz must comply with the group’s Ethical Code of Practice. Relationships with any suppliers who fail to comply with this code or meet the group’s standards will be terminated.”
The group is now looking to appoint an independent third-party partner to provide more regular audits of suppliers in the Leicester region.
In addition, its board will undertake a “full review” of the group’s current auditing processes to ensure they are “robust enough to ensure on-going compliance with our Ethical Code of Practice” throughout its supply chain.
Tarak Ramzan, CEO of Quiz, said: “We are extremely concerned and disappointed to be informed of the alleged breach of National Living Wage requirements in a factory making QUIZ products. The alleged breaches to both the law and Quiz’s Ethical Code of Practice are totally unacceptable.
“We are thoroughly investigating this incident and will also conduct a fuller review of our supplier auditing processes to ensure that they are robust. We will update our stakeholders in due course.”
The findings come only one week after Boohoo launched an “immediate, independent” review of its supply chain, following revelations of poor working conditions in another Leicester warehouse.
Boohoo first responded to allegations of malpractice early last week, after a previous Sunday Times exposé highlighted the conditions at supplier Jaswal Fashions in an undercover report.
While Boohoo “categorically” denied malpractice claims made by Labour Behind the Label, a report released by The Sunday Times last weekend (5 July) found evidence of workers in Leicester making Boohoo clothes for £3.50 an hour, less than half the £8.72 minimum wage.
The retailer has now launched an independent review to identify areas of risk and non-compliance, outline action to strengthen future compliance, and provide stakeholders with “comfort that similar allegations will not recur in the future”