The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has admitted it hired “culturally toxic” staff and failed to fire those guilty of misconduct. The CBI said a failure to act allowed a “very small minority of staff with regressive – and, in some cases, abhorrent – attitudes towards their female colleagues to feel more assured in their behaviour, and more confident of not being detected.” CBI president Brian McBride said the lobby group had been “complacent” and apologised for “mistakes in how we organised the business that led to terrible consequences.” This comes following allegations of sexual misconduct at the CBI, including claims that two women were raped by colleagues. Law firm Fox Williams has been conducting an investigation into the CBI and, in response to its recommendations, the lobby group is hiring a chief people officer and all staff will complete compulsory anti-bullying and harassment training. Both the government and Labour Party have suspended engagement with the CBI, while a number of large companies have cut ties with the group or suspended their membership. Meanwhile, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has said he could not “wait for a reincarnation of the CBI or the CBI itself to get back on its feet to engage with business,” adding “There’s no point engaging with the CBI when their own members have deserted them in droves. So, we want to engage with a body that speaks for business.”
CBI hired ‘toxic’ staff – Our Comments:
Matthew Pinto-Chilcott – FCIPD, ACEL, Owner of Consensus HR comments: “Who would have ever thought that the CBI – Confederation of British Industry would be the main news over the past few days when its used to represent 190,000 businesses and the CBI had been described by the Financial Times as “Britain’s biggest business lobby group”. The news that is currently coming out is alarming that such a key British Confederation as with any UK business can allow such practices to take place. To admit that it hired “culturally toxic” staff and failed to act! Business Owners, Managers, Employees all have a duty of care under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 to take the correct action for the wellbeing of team members as well as ensuring that the team are managed correctly and according to the Acas Code of Practice whilst acting as a reasonable employer. Poor management within any business will have severe consequences as shown at the CBI for both the business and team. Businesses need to ensure that the correct behaviour and attitudes are present within their businesses whilst carrying out workshops and development for the team so that they gain a thorough understanding of what is expected.
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