Factories in India to be investigated after allegations over low pay

Primark and Mothercare have launched inquiries into allegations that factory workers who make their clothes in India are being severely underpaid.

Workers in Bangalore are being paid as low as 13p an hour for a 48-hour week, so little that workers claim they sometimes rely on government food parcels, according to an investigation by The Guardian.

The move follows reports by the newspaper in July accusing Primark, Asda and Tesco of breaching international labour standards in Bangladesh.

A Primark spokesman said the retailer took the allegations “very seriously” and that it had begun audits of all supplier premises and would ensure compliance if necessary.

Mothercare said it also took the allegations seriously and would re-audit its two factories in India.

Marks & Spencer and Matalan were also cited in the report. An M&S spokesman said the two factories it used that were mentioned in the report paid the legal minimum wage in India because "there is no legal or industry-agreed" definition of a living wage. It said it was working to “better understand this complex area”.

Matalan said its suppliers paid workers in Bangalore above the minimum wage and that two compliance audits in the past two years had revealed no record of forced overtime.