Next has hit back at claims it is an “unscrupulous employer” that employs foreign workers to save cash, claiming it cannot find enough British people to take up temporary summer jobs.
The high street retailer has been accused by shadow immigration minister Chris Bryant of employing cheaper foreign workers over British applicants in a bid to save money.
“It is unfair that unscrupulous employers whose only interest seems to be finding labour as cheaply as possible will recruit workers in large numbers in low-wage countries in the EU, bring them to the UK, charge the costs of their travel and their substandard accommodation against their wages and still not even meet the national minimum wage,” he is due to say.
But Next has refuted the claims saying it works “incredibly hard” to recruit locally.
A spokesman said it hired Polish agency workers to help manage the “short burst of activity” during its summer Sale.
He said: “Mr Bryant wrongly claims that Polish workers are used to save money. This is simply not true. In fact agency workers from Poland cost us exactly the same as local agency workers, and our existing employees.
“The only reason we seek the help of people from Poland is that we simply can’t recruit enough local people to satisfy these spikes in demand for temporary work.”
Next is yet another retailer to come under fire for its employment decisions in the last few weeks. Sports Direct is facing a legal challenge over its use of zero hour contracts, with the retailer also coming under fire for employing 90%of its staff on the contracts.