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Workers' watchdog could ban sweat-shop clothes
Sunday, 20 June 2021 - 10:19 | Views - 47

The government plans to launch a new workers' watchdog to take over protecting the rights of UK workers.

The new body will be responsible for tackling modern slavery, enforcing the minimum wage and protecting agency workers.

Currently these tasks are spread across three different bodies.

It said it was looking at extra curbs targeting the garment sector including banning sales if brands' behaviour does not improve.

The government is looking at these specific measures after reports of serious problems in the industry, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said.

 

One of the leading online fashion retailers, Boohoo, came in for heavy criticism after concerns were raised that workers at its Leicester suppliers were being underpaid and not being protected against Covid-19 during the pandemic.

It was alleged last year that some factories in the UK working for the firm were paying staff as little as £3.50 an hour and had working conditions that did not meet Covid guidelines.

 

if brands' behaviour doesn't improve, the government warned it could introduce harsher measures, including bans on goods made in factories where workers have been underpaid.

The government also says the new watchdog will make it possible for vulnerable workers to get the holiday pay and statutory sick pay they are entitled to, without having to go through a lengthy employment tribunal process.

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