Ted Baker staff accuse boss of 'awkward' hugs and harassment

Ted Baker staff accuse boss of 'awkward' hugs and harassment

Two former employees at the fashion chain Ted Baker have described inappropriate behaviour by its founder Ray Kelvin.

It said: "Ray, and the company's leadership, have always prided themselves on Ted Baker being a great employer and business to work with".

"It's inappropriate and is part of a culture that allows harassment to go unchallenged", the petition reads.

One former member of staff, who said she had not been hugged herself, said: "He would give long hugs: [the office] was a big open space where we all could see".

According to the petition, launched by a Ted Baker employee, Kelvin also allegedly asked staff to sit on his knee and "massaged their ears". We will then carefully consider the content and recommendations of that report.

Shares in British high street retailer Ted Baker closed down 15.1 percent to 15.50 pounds on the London Stock Exchange Monday, following a media report over the weekend that female employees want founder Ray Kelvin to keep his hands off them.

"People would be visibly uncomfortable most of the time".

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"Ray greets many people he meets with a hug - be it a shareholder, investor, supplier, partner, customer or colleague", the company added.

Ted Baker are launching a full independent investigation into the "culture of harassment".

The company said that it was now "in dialogue" with Organise in order to "understand the details and nature of the claims".

The firm says a "thorough independent investigation" will be conducted into the allegations, which it disputes.

"Please set up a way of reporting harassment to an independent, external body - HR has done nothing with the reports of harassment to date", says the petition.

However, the company said "clear and robust" HR policies in dealing with the issues were already in place.

Kelvin, 62, developed the Ted Baker brand and has been chief executive since the launch of the company in 1988. It has since grown to boast 544 outlets selling clothing and accessories worldwide.

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