In July 2021, Ethical Consumer viewed Foyles’ website for information on how the company managed workers' rights in its supply chain. No information could be found.

Supply chain policy (poor)
A strong policy would include the following commitments: no use of forced labour, permission of freedom of association, payment of a living wage, the restriction of working hours to 48 hours plus 12 overtime (without exception), no use of a child labour (under 15 or 14 if ILO exempt), no discrimination by race, sex or for any other reason.
Given that Foyles did not appear to have a policy relating to its supply chain management, its supply chain policy was considered poor.

Stakeholder engagement (poor)
Ethical Consumer deemed it necessary for companies to demonstrate stakeholder engagement, such as through membership of the Ethical Trade Initiative, Fair Labour Association or Social Accountability International. Companies were also expected to engage with Trade Unions, NGOs and/or not-for-profit organisations which could systematically verify the company's labour standards, and for workers to have access to an anonymous complaints system, free of charge and in their own language.
Given that Foyles did not appear to have a policy on any of these things, the company received a poor score for auditing and reporting.

Auditing and Reporting (poor)
Ethical Consumer deemed it necessary for companies to have an auditing and reporting system. Results of audits should be publicly reported and quantitatively analysed. The company should have a scheduled and transparent audit plan that applies to their whole supply chain, including some second tier suppliers. The company should also have a staged policy for non-compliance. The costs of the audit should be borne by the company.
Given that Foyles did not appear to have a policy on any of these things, the company received a poor score for auditing and reporting.

Difficult Issues (poor)
Ethical Consumer also deemed it necessary for companies to address other difficult issues in their supply chains. This would include ongoing training for agents, or rewards for suppliers meeting labour standards, or preference for long term suppliers. It would also include acknowledgement of audit fraud and unannounced audits, and measures taken to address the issue of living wages, particularly among outworkers, and illegal freedom of association.
Given that Foyles did not appear to have a policy relating to any of these things, it received a poor score for difficult issues.

Overall, Foyles did not have any policies relating to its supply chain management and therefore received a worst rating in this category.

Reference:

Foyles webpage (12 July 2021)

In September 2021, Ethical Consumer viewed The Guardian website and found an article dated 08 April 2019 titled "Waterstones staff deliver petition for living wage to firm's HQ".

The article stated that "About 1,900 of the company’s 3,100 workers are paid below the real living wage" and that in April 2019 Waterstones staff from across the UK handed over a 9,300-signature petition to the company's managing director, James Daunt. The article brought to attention the unpaid work of some employees, including one story of an employee who "was never compensated for the hours spent organising store events and reading widely to keep her job". The petition was given alongside a self-published book containing employee's testimonies of their endemic financial worries among booksellers at all levels, with some feeling the required expertise to do the job well has gone unrecognised.

The managing director responded in the article that he was aiming for “a progressing pay structure based on a floor of the real living wage”, but that "the chain could not yet afford the estimated £5m cost of raising wages, two years after returning to profit".

Waterstones lost half a mark under Worker's Rights.

Reference:

Petition to Waterstones to pay living wage (April 2019)