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10 Jul 2023

Leigh Day (UK)

UK: Court to decide if Bangladeshi & Nepali workers' forced labour claims at Dyson Malaysia factory can proceed


"Allegations of forced labour and dangerous conditions at Dyson Malaysian factory to be heard in High Court,"

Migrant workers’ claims against Dyson Group of forced labour and dangerous conditions in a Malaysian factory producing the company’s electrical goods will be heard at the High Court between 17 and 19 July.

The legal claims are being brought by 23 migrant workers and the estate of one deceased migrant worker who worked at an ATA Industrial factory in Johor where many Dyson products were made. The individuals worked at the factory for between three and nine years. Their claims against Dyson relate to allegations of forced labour, false imprisonment, assault, battery, cruel and degrading treatment and exposure to extremely hazardous working conditions and abusive living conditions.T

he factory predominantly produced products for Dyson’s vacuum cleaner, lighting, haircare, heaters and fan ranges. ATA Industrial was Dyson’s largest ‘box-build’ (the complete assembly of a customer’s finished product) partner, supplying around one third of its global ‘box-build’ production. The factory is operated by ATA Industrial and Dyson denies in its response to the legal claim that it is responsible for any unlawful acts of ATA Industrial.

The civil negligence claim is being brought against three Dyson companies within the Dyson Group: Dyson Technology Limited and Dyson Limited, based in Malmesbury, and Dyson Malaysia in Johor Bahru near to the ATA Industrial factory...

The High Court hearing will take place between 17-19 July 2023, where the Judge will decide whether the claims can proceed in the courts of England and Wales as Dyson are challenging the jurisdiction of the English courts to hear the claims. Dyson are arguing that the claims should be heard in the Malaysian Courts and dispute that there is a sufficient connection to the UK, pointing to the fact that it is now headquartered in Singapore. Dyson argue that since Malaysian law applies and the claimants will have access to justice in Malaysia, the claims should be heard there.  The Claimants say that these claims relate to the Dyson UK companies and should be heard in the English courts. The Claimants also say that there is a substantial risk that they would not be able to access justice in the Malaysian courts...

This article was updated 13 July 2023.