Working Conditions, Not Working?

If you keep up to date with all Fashion news you’ll be aware that our beloved ASOS is once again being scrutinised  for it’s ’employee exploitation’ and ‘poor working conditions’.


The news come after Labour leadership candidate Owen Smith requested for an investigation to be made into the working conditions of one of the Fashion label’s warehouses. In  a letter  he wrote to chairman of the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee  Ian Wright,  he expressed his concerns for the working conditions of those at the ASOS warehouse.


Smith writes “Having met with the GMB, I’m appalled at reports that – among others – staff there are having to face invasive surveillance, limited access to toilet facilities and random searches during lunch breaks,”

“I also understand staff are being employed on what are effectively sub-zero hour contracts, where workers face little to no notice of the hours they’re expected to work. And where staff are turning up to work only to be told they’ve got no allocated hours.”

However  ASOS have fired back at Smith stating “We were surprised to see these allegations from Owen given that it was the first we had heard from him and he’s never been inside the warehouse.. We work incredibly hard with XPO (the logistics company that manages the site) to create a positive, supportive, healthy working environment for the team in Barnsley. As we have now said on the record several times before – we don’t do zero-hours contracts, people can take toilet and water breaks whenever they want, and we pay above minimum wage.”

Who’s telling the truth is hard to say at this stage, however one thing we’re all aware of is that some companies, especially in the creative industry do expect their staff to work under unreasonable circumstances. We spoke to  a few creatives on the streets of London and were shocked at some of the examples they gave us. Have a read below and tweet us yours now!

“I was forced to work 11 hours without a toilet break as we had three back to back shoots” Lucy Stephens, Fashion Assistant  24, London

“A well known Fashion High street label forced me to work with a flying pigeon in a stock room!” James Wright, Retail Advisor 23 Essex

“I worked six weeks over the summer in a stuffy Fashion cupboard with no windows and an awful stench, at a well known national magazine” Natalie Thompson , Fashion Intern 27, London

“My boss said I couldn’t have my lunch until after she had her lunch. I didn’t eat until 4.30pm that day” Rebecca Anderson, Personal Assistant 25, London

We’ve got loads more to publish, if you have an example of a time you were made to work under poor conditions tweet us now to feature!


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