After more than 200 staff members (male and female) have come forward complaining about Ted Baker founder Ray Kelvin’s behaviour, the company’s chairman David Bernstein today announced that the details of the probe will be announced tomorrow alongside a trading update.
Kelvin has been accused of allegedly hugging workers and kissing their necks and ears.
Ted Baker reveals more details of hugging probe as shareholders already counting the cost. Latest https://t.co/gn7vJkQwvx
— Simon Jack (@BBCSimonJack) December 5, 2018
A petition called for “a way of reporting harassment to an independent, external body” and claimed “HR has done nothing with the reports of harassment”. It stated: “Directors who abuse their power should be held to account. Harassment at Ted Baker is well documented but wilfully ignored by those in charge. It’s time to break the silence.”
Another report suggests that in 2016, Kelvin pushed an executive against the wall in a glass meeting room twice before another employee intervened to separate the men. The incident took place after the founder allegedly got angry after the employee did not invite him to his wedding.
Ted Baker has stated that Kelvin was unavailable to comment on the latest allegations. The Telegraph and other newspapers earlier Wednesday reported on the alleged altercation with the male employee, who later left the company.
Another employee told media: “When you had to hug him . . . It was . . . intense body contact.”
“We do not believe these reports are reflective of the organization we have all worked hard to develop over the last 30 years,” the company said in a statement referring to reports of the alleged shoving, adding: “We are, though, taking them very seriously.”
Meanwhile, top investors in the group fear that the alleged misconduct allegations could cause the firm serious long-term financial damage.