PWC Consulting Finds No Signs Of Systemic Forced Labour Practices At VS Industry

V.S. Industry Berhad which had been under scrutiny for alleged forced labour practices has issued a statement informing that the independent audit conducted by PwC Consulting found no evidence of systemic forced labour practices within the Group.

The group added that the audit was undertaken together with a labour rights consultant who it said concurs with this finding. The independent review was based on the 11 International Labour Organization Indicators of Forced Labour and the scope extended to the entire workforce of its Malaysia operations comprising both local and migrant workers, as well as workers hired through its Recalibration Programme.

According to the statement, VS Industry said PwC Consulting spent 4 months conducting site visits across 19 factories and hostels and had held formal interviews with focus group discussions consisting approximately 7% of foreign workforce in Malaysia. During the interview process, the audit firm utilised independent translators instead of VS’ translators in order to be not biased. Managing Director of VS, Datuk S.Y. Gan commented after receiving the review report being an important exercise for the group to help determine its labour practices from an independent perspective.

“Granted, PwC Consulting did identify gaps and areas for improvement primarily relating to recruitment fees, overtime, accommodation and effective communication. The Board has promptly acknowledged these matters and took immediate remedial actions. For recruitment fees, the Group has already fully reimbursed the recruitment fees paid by workers who joined prior to 2017. As for the remaining issues, some have been resolved, while others are in the midst of being remedied. The report also concluded that VS complied with the requirements of the Recalibration Programme and our existing workforce no longer has workers hired through third-party subcontractors.”

VS added the comprehensive assessment had heightened its knowledge and awareness of issues pertaining to forced labour.

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