Leicester textile workers owed over £27m, says report

Textile factory workers in Leicester have lost over £27m in wages owed to them, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

The trade body wrote to the Government in July, according to reports from Sky News, urging it to introduce a licensing scheme that would help combat illegally low payments to workers and outlaw unsafe conditions in some Leicester textile factories.

The BRC received no response, says the report, and has written again, adding: “The BRC calculates that exploited workers in garment factories in Leicester alone are collectively being denied £2.1m a week in unpaid wages.

“This equates to over £27m since we raised this issue with you in July. This is entirely unacceptable.”

The news comes after months of bad headlines for the Leicester textile industry, after a summer of headlines that alleged that conditions in Leicester factories, which primarily supply Boohoo, were putting workers at risk of Covid-19 infections and fatalities.

In August, the independent review into fast fashion brand boohoo found that there were “many failings” in its Leicester supply chain.