Skip to main content
Read page text

HR news briefing News and analysis what March/April means for you Weetabix loses dismissal case over bullying boss

A former Weetabix employee has won his constructive dismissal case against the cereal firm a er he was forced out of his job by aggressive management and an unfair grievance investigation and appeal process.

Gary Mobbs had worked at the company happily for 25 years, the court heard, before tendering his resignation in 2018 because of his new manager’s “bullying and harassing” style of management.

Mobbs was persuaded to stay on at the firm a er manager John Petre promised to change his behaviour.

Over the next two years, however, Petre continued to swear at staff, admitting later to the tribunal that he intentionally humiliated staff to drive performance.

Mobbs raised a formal grievance against Petre in November 2019, but the next month Petre was promoted, and the process concluded he was not at fault.

Employment judge Kate Mary Hutchings said: “Viewing the evidence from the investigation objectively, the investigation lacked balance and the outcome letter did not align to the evidence [the grievance investigator] gathered.” The final straw for Mobbs came in 2020, when he was referred to an occupational health specialist at Axa. At his first telephone appointment, he was asked by the nurse how he would be able to handle “challenging” conversations on his return; Mobbs resigned.

The referral itself was subject to significant delays, the tribunal found, because of the poor administration by Weetabix’s head of HR, Stuart Benham; Hutchings also found Benham’s evidence inconsistent and not credible.

Four-day week hailed a success for businesses and workers

Nine in 10 (92%) organisations taking part in the 4 Day Week Campaign trial have decided to keep the policy, according to a study of the trial by think tank Autonomy, the University of Cambridge and Boston College.

Across the test group, more than two thirds (71%) of employees reported lower levels of burnout and there was a 65% reduction in the number of sick days taken.

There’s a perfect storm brewing in the UK recruitment market Kier Group’s talent acquisition director

Paul Thornton looks at how inclusive recruitment can bust the talent shortage.

Budget must get all ages involved in work, CIPD warns The falling employment rate among young people has highlighted a need to get people of all ages involved in the workforce, said the CIPD.

Toxic resilience and how to avoid it

Leaders are expected to weather difficulties without blinking. Naysan Firoozmand,

head of coaching at Hult EF examines how this expectation can lead to burn out and failure.

Employees were 57% less likely to quit, and revenues rose by 1.4% across the six-month test. With more than 200 staff spread over more than 50 projects that deliver services both remotely and in the community, Citizens Advice Gateshead had a challenging task in changing its working pattern, according to chief operating officer Paul Oliver.

Implementing the trial in three waves over 12 weeks helped to smooth the transition.

Oliver said: “Each wave benefited from the learning and experiences of those who had gone earlier.

“The benefits to your people and their work/life balance are there to see, and we are definitely a more finely tuned operation because of the productivity measures we’ve implemented.”

March/April 2023 HR 7

My Bookmarks

    Skip to main content