Fast fashion brand Boohoo has ordered an independent review of its UK supply chain following reports of poor working conditions at a factory in Leicester.
It comes after retailers Next and Asos dropped Boohoo goods from their stores amid claims workers were underpaid and not socially distancing.
Boohoo, which said it was “shocked and appalled” by the allegations, has asked a senior barrister to lead the review.
Shares in the firm have dropped by a third this week.
It comes after a Sunday Times report claimed workers at a Leicester factory that supplied clothes to Boohoo were paid just £3.50 an hour, while being offered no protection from coronavirus.
The factory was also said to be operating during a localised lockdown designed to stop a spike in Covid-19 cases in Leicester.
Labour Behind the Label, a workers’ rights group, has separately claimed that some employees at factories in Leicester that supply the fast fashion firm were “being forced to come into work while sick with Covid-19”.
On Tuesday, Boohoo said: “We take extremely seriously all allegations of malpractice, poor working conditions, and underpayment of workers.”
It said that Alison Levitt, a senior barrister who specialises in business crime, would lead an investigation looking into whether the company’s suppliers pay the minimum wage, and comply with coronavirus safety regulations, working hours rules and immigration law.
The company said it hoped to report the initial findings in September.