British retailer Next has been cleared by the Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI) after one of its suppliers was found to have left workers without due severance following the closure of the company.
Turkish manufacturer Neo Trend came under fire in 2021 after it closed its factory and had left workers without their due severance, notice and other allowances.
Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) members then filed a complaint to ETI on behalf of Neo Trend’s former employees, leading to an investigation into the proceedings, for which Next, a member of the ETI, provided evidence for.
The retailer offered up information on orders received and the full amounts paid for those orders, showing that there had been a “significant gap in time” between the last order and when the company was closed, according to the ETI.
Following the investigation, ETI said that it had concluded it was “not possible to demonstrate that the action or inaction of Next had caused or directly contributed to the harm to workers”.
The initiative cited that the “clear villain” in this case was the owner of Neo Trend, who it alleged had “knowingly closed the business without informing workers or paying what they were owed”, despite the company having been paid for orders.
As such, ETI determined that it would not require Next to deliver recompense, and instead recommended that the company consider “a good will gesture”.