A Dorset firm has confirmed it has left the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) “with immediate effect” following a series of workplace misconduct allegations about the business group.
On Friday (April 21) several companies and trade bodies, including insurance firm Aviva and the John Lewis Partnership, announced plans to leave the CBI, after more than a dozen allegations of sexual misconduct, including rape, were made from women who worked for the group. Late on Friday, Tesco, Unilever, Marks & Spencer and Scottish Power announced they were suspending membership.
The boss of Christchurch-based structural engineering business REIDsteel Simon Boyd, who is a founding member of the CBI’s manufacturing council, said it was “wholly inconceivable” for the firm to continue as a member of the employers’ organisation, following the latest “incredibly serious” allegations.
Read more:CBI president Brian McBride on Brexit, freeports, AI and the crisis engulfing the business body
He said: “We have taken the decision to resign our company’s corporate membership and my personal position on its manufacturing council with immediate effect. The latest allegations are deeply concerning and completely at odds with our company’s values and culture where respect and inclusivity are absolutely paramount.”
Simon Boyd, managing director of REIDsteel. (Image: Paul Collins/Deep South Media) It comes after REIDsteel said last week it had thought to “break all ties” with the CBI, which represents 190,000 businesses across the country, but would reserve judgement about its membership pending further developments.
Mr Boyd said: “Our thoughts are with those at the centre of the latest allegations, and anyone who has been negatively impacted in any way with failings at the organisation. Our thoughts are also with the many hardworking personnel at the CBI who do work with integrity as well as member businesses who do not tolerate misbehaviour or a culture that allows misbehaviour to happen.
“It must be emphasised that the overwhelming majority of businesses in this country are reputable and responsible companies, which make a huge contribution to the UK’s economy, tax receipts and prosperity.”
The CBI declined to comment when approached by BusinessLive. The organisation previously apologised for making “serious failings” and said it would cooperate fully with any police investigations, as an independent investigation by employment law firm Fox Williams continues.
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