Statement issued to media, November 2021
A Dyson spokesperson said:
Dyson, as a principle, demands high standards of the third-party companies operating in the supply chain, and we take immediate action where we see deviation from our robust global welfare standards – holding the Directors of those companies accountable and withdrawing our business from third party companies where necessary. We use independent auditors as part of our ESR programmes and regularly audit all our third-party contract manufacturers, using a range of approaches.
Earlier this year, Dyson commissioned a further comprehensive, independent audit of ATA, the results of which we received on 4th October 2021. On 8th October, based on the findings of this independent report, Dyson asked that immediate action was taken by the ATA Board. In addition to the findings of the audit report, Dyson was informed on 20th September 2021, of a whistle-blower making allegations about unacceptable actions by ATA staff, including an Executive Director of ATA, that had allegedly taken place on 28th June 2021. We immediately commissioned an international law firm to undertake a full investigation and provided the whistle-blower with support that enabled them to assist with the investigation. We understand that an Executive Director of ATA has since been suspended, pending further investigations.
Throughout discussions with the Board of ATA, Dyson’s priority has been the monitoring of welfare, and the security of employment, of the workers they employ. Despite intense engagement over the past six weeks, we have not seen sufficient progress and have already removed some production lines. We have now terminated our relationship with six months’ of contractual notice. We hope this gives ATA the impetus to improve, and enables an orderly withdrawal in the interests of the workers that they employ.
Dyson regularly commissions independent audits of worker conditions and employment terms in our third-party suppliers, from internationally recognised specialists. From these, Dyson has a track-record of driving corrective action which has included the repayment of worker recruitment fees and improvements to worker accommodation. Claims which are brought to our attention by whistleblowers and third parties are treated seriously. Following these claims, Dyson undertakes thorough and professional investigations through internationally recognised third party specialists, and law firms where appropriate, to determine any necessary action.
To achieve an effective audit, the methodology for an audit strategy must be regularly altered to avoid predictability and establish the true facts. To be effective, audits need to have an appropriate scope, a robust methodology, use a variety of tactics relevant to the issues being audited, and contain an element of surprise. This can include conducting audits at short notice, speaking to a range of people, and speaking to workers away from the workplace. Our most recent audit for instance, interviewed over 2,000 members of staff, in a variety of settings. It is through a comprehensive and varied programme of audits that specific issues can be understood and tackled.