Primark has committed $1m (£640,000) towards food distribution and short-term financial aid in Bangladesh, following the disaster that killed more than 1,100 people.
The retailer will have registered 4,000 Rana Plaza workers or their dependents by the end of this week in order to secure the financial aid, which is equivalent to three months’ wages.
Primark said “the vast majority” of the factory employees worked for other retailers and brands, but has committed to help all workers while it is established exactly which suppliers, sub-contractors and retailers each individual was employed by.
Paperwork was damaged by the collapse, making identification difficult.
Primark said the assistance it was offering “recognises that the process to establish long-term compensation will take time, in order to ensure the payments are made to the appropriate beneficiaries, and that individuals considered to be vulnerable are supported appropriately”.
Meanwhile the retailer has also begun a programme of building surveys in Bangladesh to ensure the factories it uses are structurally sound. The programme will cover all factories in the country where Primark clothing is produced.
A team of structural and civil engineers from Dhaka-based Medway Consultancy Services has been commissioned to carry out the assessments.
Surveys will assess planning records, including structural drawings where available, and will evaluate the standard of construction and materials, and the location and loading of heavy machinery.
A spokesperson said: “We believe the Accord on Building and Fire Safety that we recently signed, along with other brands in Geneva, is the way forward to sustainable positive change in Bangladesh. However, the implementation will take time and we felt that we could not wait. Our work will be absorbed within the implementation framework of the Accord over time.
“We want everyone, especially the workers themselves, to be confident that Primark products are produced in safe factories.”