Quiz cuts ties with sup­plier af­ter il­le­gal wage claims

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Laura Onita

FAST-FASH­ION brand Quiz has sev­ered ties with a ma­jor sup­plier af­ter ad­mit­ting that a fac­tory in Le­ices­ter could be pay­ing il­le­gal wages to work­ers.

The re­tailer said it was ex­tremely con­cerned by al­le­ga­tions that a part­ner firm was pay­ing em­ploy­ees as lit­tle as £3 an hour.

Bosses have car­ried out an ini­tial in­ves­ti­ga­tion and be­lieve that one of Quiz’s sup­pli­ers has used an­other firm for the work, breach­ing its code of con­duct. Quiz said: “It is this sub­con­trac­tor that is sub­ject of the na­tional liv­ing wage com­plaint.”

The com­pany has stopped work­ing with the main sup­plier while it looks into the claims fur­ther.

It comes a week af­ter sim­i­lar claims wiped £1.8bn off the value of ri­val Boohoo, putting the UK sup­ply chain un­der the spot­light once again.

Glas­gow-based Quiz runs more than 70 stores across the UK and has an­other 174 con­ces­sions at de­part­ment stores such as Deben­hams. It em­ploys more than 1,500 peo­ple in Bri­tain and Ire­land. The busi­ness said: “The group is cur­rently in­ves­ti­gat­ing the re­ported al­le­ga­tions, which, if found to be ac­cu­rate, are to­tally un­ac­cept­able.”

Quiz put its stores into ad­min­is­tra­tion last month af­ter be­ing ham­mered by the Covid-19 pan­demic, with 93 staff los­ing their jobs.

An un­der­cover reporter for The

Times said she had been told by bosses at the fac­tory in ques­tion that she would need to work un­paid for two days be­fore get­ting a job that would pay be­tween £3 and £4 an hour. The liv­ing wage is £8.72 for some­one over the age of 25.

The firm said it would launch a full re­view of how it au­dited the sup­ply chain to en­sure it was ro­bust enough.

It has in­sisted that it will cut ties with any sup­plier that does not meet its stan­dards.

The busi­ness is also seek­ing to draft in in­de­pen­dent ex­perts to pro­vide more reg­u­lar au­dits of sup­pli­ers in the Le­ices­ter re­gion.

“Quiz mon­i­tors its sup­plier base through au­dits and site visits”, the com­pany added, and has “clear-cut so­cial re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and le­gal obli­ga­tions”.

The stock was trad­ing up 2pc in noon trade.

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