Tony Danker, the general director of one of the biggest business groups in the UK, has been sacked over misconduct claims.
In an announcement made by the CBI, it was stated that Mr Danker is “dismissed with immediate effect following the independent investigation into specific complaints of workplace misconduct against him.”
It also stated that “his own conduct fell short of that expected of the Director General.
“We apologise to the victims of this organisational failure, including those impacted by the revulsion we have all felt at hearing their stories. Nobody should feel unsafe in their workplace,” it added.
It was also announced that three other CBI employees have been suspended, and there will be investigations into these other ongoing allegations.
The Guardian reported numerous sexual misconduct claims against CBI employees in an article last week. These allegations include an instance of rape at a 2019 summer boat party.
The article states that more than a dozen women claim to have been victims of sexual misconduct within the organisation.
Mr Danker wrote that it was “mortifying” to hear that he caused “offence or anxiety to any colleague,” earlier in March. This Tweet coincided with him stepping aside from his role.
Around 190,000 businesses are currently represented by CBI in the UK.
Kate Palmer, HR Advice and Consultancy Director at Peninsula, says:
“Many organisations set out situations which may amount to gross misconduct, and the allegations faced by Tony Danker would likely fall into this category, assuming a reasonable investigation was first completed. Some think that those at the top of the corporate ladder are immune to punishment but the situation here, and seen recently with the MET Police and others, shows the importance of setting precedents and applying them fairly and consistently, regardless of the position the person holds.
“However, this particular situation is made trickier by the reputational impact on the CBI. As such, even if a gross misconduct dismissal was not reasonable, the organisation may have been able to complete a fair dismissal process under SOSR (Some Other Substantial Reason) due to the significant breakdown in the working relationship, loss of trust with Mr Danker and the detrimental effect on their image and reputation.
“This being said, employers should remember that SOSR should not be seen as a golden ticket to dismiss for any reason; there must still be fair and reasonable grounds, and a complete process followed.”
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.