Ted Baker harassment investigation finds 'several areas for improvement'

Ted Baker has finished an investigation into harassment allegations and found “several areas for improvement”.

The fashion chain’s founder Ray Kelvin resigned last month after reports that he had massaged employees, kissed their ears and asked them to sit on his knee.

An investigation conducted by law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has now concluded, with Ted Baker announcing that it will overhaul its HR policies to “cultivate a better environment for all employees where they always feel respected and valued”.

Interviews by the law firm with current and former employees identified “several areas for improvement in the company’s HR policies and procedures”.

Ted Baker refused to comment on the specific allegations against Mr Kelvin but said it had begun a “refresh of its HR policies to ensure their alignment with current best practice”.

Staff will undergo new training on acceptable workplace conduct, and will have access to an independent and confidential whistleblowing hotline.

Ted Baker also announced that acting chief executive Lindsay Page will take up the job permanently.

He said: “I am delighted to have been chosen by the board to be the company’s new CEO.

“We have a strong brand and outstanding teams around the world, and I am confident that together we will continue to build on our success and continue to develop Ted Baker as a global lifestyle brand.”

A petition launched by a number of Ted Baker staff last year claimed that the company had failed to deal with inappropriate workplace behaviour.

It alleged of Mr Kelvin: “He took off his shirt on one occasion and talked about his sex life. So many people have left the business due to harassment, whether that be verbal, physical or sexual.

Of the company the staff said: “It is part of a culture that leaves harassment unchallenged.

“There are a lot of really positive things about working at Ted Baker but they’re often overshadowed by the ‘hugging’ and inappropriate touching and comments.”

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