Boohoo shares fall after undercover investigation reveals working conditions

Shares in fashion retailer Boohoo have fallen after an undercover investigation uncovered the poor working conditions for employees at a warehouse in Burnley.

Staff at the facility have to walk more than 10 miles per shift in temperatures which can top 30°C, with badly fitting safety equipment, according to an investigation by the Times newspaper.

Ambulances were revealed to regularly visit the site following a spate of injuries and staff collapsing.

Workers are monitored and directed via a device which they wear on their arm, the report revealed.

They are expected to gather 130 clothing items per hour from the windowless distribution warehouse, an undercover journalist revealed.

The Times’ report cited complaints of racism and sexual harassment, with lavatory breaks timed and temperatures at night consistently above 30C, with a maximum of 32C.

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Boohoo, which is listed on the AIM and made profits of £883 million in the first half of this year, came under fire in 2020 over accusations of modern slavery.

It was revealed by the investigation that Boohoo was linked to garment factories in Leicester where workers were experiencing extremely poor pay and conditions.

A company review conducted by Alison Levitt QC and lawyer Sir Brian Leveson oversaw efforts to improve supply chain requirements, resulting in the development of its ‘Agenda for Change’, where 15% of the annual bonus paid to executives will be tied to the delivery of the ESG transformation strategy.

Boohoo shares fell by 35p early on Wednesday before slowing to 37.63p after an hour’s trading, a fall of just over 3%.

A spokesperson for the fast fashion brand told The Times: “Boohoo is taking every claim very seriously, but does not believe the picture painted is reflective of the working environment at our Burnley warehouse.

“Over recent years, we have invited and subsequently received representatives from external organisations, authorities and people such as the GLAA, local MPs, the deputy leader of the local council, and Burnley College, and we remain committed to transparency and engagement.

“Making sure our people are safe and comfortable in their workplace is our highest priority.”



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