Documentary uncovers working conditions at Boohoo

Working conditions at the online fashion chain were exposed in an undercover documentary by Channel 4

Documentary uncovers working conditions at Boohoo

Image: Charles Krupa AP/Press Association Images

A television documentary has revealed employees at online fashion chain Boohoo risk being fired for smiling.

An investigation by Channel 4's Dispatches into the production of cheap clothing in Britain suggests contracts can be terminated after three strikes, including for seemingly minor infringements.

Workers claimed they had been given a strike for things like checking the time on their mobile or showing up five minutes late for work.

In the programme, broadcast on Monday night, Kieron Hardman a former Boohoo team leader says: "In one instance, I received an email to ask me if I could give ­somebody a strike because somebody was smiling."

Boohoo denied the claims and told Dispatches they don’t operate a three strikes policy.

“We are disappointed some individuals may still refer to ‘strikes’. This is not in line with our current policies,” Boohoo said.

Boohoo said that all employees, including those working for an agency on behalf of the company, are paid at least the national minimum wage.


The investigation comes after online fashion retailer Asos was accused last year of exploitative working practises with staff reportedly unable to take regular water and toilet breaks for fears of missing targets.

The company denied those allegations.