Clothing: Manufacturing Industries

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 30th March 2021.

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Photo of Claudia Webbe Claudia Webbe Independent, Leicester East

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent steps his Department has taken to enable and support overseas workers who are victims of corporate harm in the supply chain of UK fashion brands to access remedy via UK courts.

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London)

Whether an overseas worker would be able to access remedy against a UK company in the courts of England and Wales or an employment tribunal would depend on a number of different factors, including whether the court or tribunal has territorial jurisdiction, the nature of the employment relationship, and what right the claimant is asserting under UK law. This would be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

The UK government has an extensive history of funding organisations such as the Ethical Trading Initiative who proactively support worker representation, freedom of association and collective bargaining. This support has led to direct remediation of labour rights violations for vulnerable workers, including dismissal for joining a union.

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