Friday 8th January
Investigation update – 8th January 2021
We want to send assurances that the recent incident continues to be investigated with the utmost urgency.
Various factors have led this process to become very complex, including several breaches of company policies, and the social and traditional media attention received. We have consequently sought the expertise of independent HR and legal bodies who are now leading this investigation. Their stewardship will ensure a meticulous and impartial process, without emotion or bias.
The investigation is still ongoing at this current time, we will be legally unable to share the final outcomes. We will therefore not be making any further updates on this specific incident after today. We thank you for your patience and we send our thanks to our customers and colleagues for their messages of support.
Policies, procedures and training update – 8th January 2021
Castle Rock has always been committed to learning, growing and evolving, and we will always endeavour to improve the lives and wellbeing of our community. Last week, we promised to be as transparent as possible about policy, training and procedural change. We will continue to share any relevant updates on this page. Please see a list of our initial focuses in our last update; work in these areas is already underway.
Anonymous Internal Reporting System: On 4th January, we launched a second internal reporting system for Castle Rock employees. This allows staff across the business to report experiences of discrimination or prejudice, or cultural concerns, while remaining anonymous. We intend for this to be a permanent resource for employees, alongside the established reporting system which follows traditional HR practice.
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Sunday 3rd January
An update on the incident reported yesterday afternoon:
A senior executive meeting took place this morning. We can confirm that multiple individuals have been suspended and other employees at the site in question are under investigation.
Many are demanding immediate dismissal of the employees involved in this incident. However, the UK has strict employment laws and we must follow the process these set out. This investigation is complicated by the number of employees who may be involved. Subsequently, the investigation will likely take a number of days. We assure you it is being treated with the utmost importance.
The following steps are also now underway:
- We will shortly be launching an internal process for employees to report discriminatory behaviour, anonymously if they choose to do so
- We will be implementing mandatory diversity training for all employees, with regular course refreshers
- As priorities, we will be reviewing:
- Our diversity policy
- Our recruitment policies
- Our internal communications policies, including group chat policies
- Our training policies
Where appropriate we will be seeking external and expert guidance. This list is by no means exhaustive and forms part of an ongoing commitment to challenging prejudice and discrimination.
We ask our customers, employees and those that have been affected or upset by this incident to allow us some time to address the issues and manage the investigation in accordance with the law and best practice. We will continue to update you wherever we are able.
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Saturday 2nd January
This evening we were made aware of the use of racist and homophobic language in a private group chat among staff at one of our pubs, and the subsequent behaviour from team members and management.
Firstly, we sincerely apologise to our black and minority ethnic colleagues and customers, and our LGBTQ+ colleagues and customers. We are deeply sorry that a place which should feel safe and inclusive, among people who should be your trusted colleagues and peers, instead became abusive and hostile.
The UK has very strict laws which require businesses to follow a formal procedure in situations such as this. An investigation into this incident began immediately when it was first reported this afternoon. We are unable to disclose details at this time but assure you that we are responding with the utmost urgency. Those involved will be held accountable.
There are many issues which need addressing in response to this situation, and those issues cannot be dealt with in one night. However, we do wish to make the following statements:
- We entrust our management teams to embody and represent Castle Rock’s values, and we depend on them to nurture their teams and foster cultures of kindness. We are deeply shocked by the behaviour from members of management in this instance.
- Silence and neutrality in the face of racist and homophobic behaviour is not acceptable. We will be assessing our training, procedures and policies over the coming weeks and confronting issues of systemic and cultural racism and prejudice which may exist within the company.
- Finally, please bear with us as we investigate this incident. We have spoken with the individuals who reported it and will continue to work closely with them over the coming days. This particular exchange may form part of a larger investigation, due to further accusations made.
We will always be as transparent and open as possible about the steps we are taking. Any policy, training or procedural changes will be published on our website.
Finally: 2020 taught us many uncomfortable and painful lessons. We will do all we can to learn from them and help drive real change.
If you would like to speak to us about this situation, or any other issue relating to Castle Rock and discriminatory behaviour, please email us on email@example.com.