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ASOS boss says "it isn't very practical" to be like an employer from the Victorian era

Helen Cahill
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ASOS has kicked back against accusations of poor working practices in its Barnsley warehouse and has said the company looks forward to engaging with the government on the issues surrounding low paid workers.

"The picture of an uncaring, secretive and exploiting employer from the Victorian times is false," ASOS said in a statement. "Actually, it isn't practical either. If we ran our warehouse that way, we wouldn't have a productive environment."

The company has said an investigation by Buzzfeed was based on "out of date information" and "misleading statements." The investigation accused ASOS of not allowing workers to take toilet breaks and cancelling shifts for workers who had already travelled to the warehouse.

Read more: Asos won't be making an Amazon-style move into physical shops

ASOS accused GMB union, who has been campaigning on the issue for some years, of making "false and sensationalist allegations" about its working practices and said GMB had failed to achieve the required support from ASOS workers in order to unionise.

ASOS said:

We are not averse to unionising our warehouse – far from it, but only when our people want it

The company has welcomed an ongoing dialogue with government about workers on zero hours contracts, saying it has "nothing to hide" and can make a positive contribution to policy. When campaigning to become leader of the Labour party, Owen Smith MP said there should be an investigation into ASOS.

ASOS boss Nick Beighton said: "I'm disappointed that inaccurate and misleading things have been said about how we manage our warehouse at Barnsley in Yorkshire.

"Where we've been able, we have tried to set the record straight, but some misrepresentation continues.

"I take huge exception to the idea that we are secretive and exploit our people. We have nothing to hide and much to be proud of."

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