In December 2018 when the Mail on Sunday, Sunday Times and BBC first reported on the abuse at UNiDAYS, the then Head of People, Courtney Lynch promised to hold an independent and transparent enquiry, with witnesses (employees and ex-employees) being anonymous and protected. She said that law firm Hill Dickinson would lead the enquiry.
Within a few weeks she had suddenly left the company and recently promoted chairman Matt Atkinson took over handling the enquiry.
Hill Dickinson interviewed dozens of people about the wrongdoings at the company. Finally in April, despite Hill Dickinson saying they finalised the report in February, UNiDAYS chairman Matt Atkinson (also on the board of so-called “ethical” company the Co-op) held at a company-wide presentation at which he claimed that the firm had found no evidence of “systemic” wrongdoing.
We know that is simply not true.
One brave former employee has been in touch to give us her story. After a distressing incident of sexual harassment by Josh Rathour, she was bullied into leaving, though on the night of the incident, he had told her he was giving her a top account since she was so good at her job. They put about a story that she was under-performing and they had to get rid of her.
Later, she went to work for one of UNiDAYS’ top clients and because she knew UNiDAYS were lying about what they were selling and promising to deliver, she asked hard questions. UNiDAYS sent a letter to her boss, claiming she was bitter and biased against UNiDAYS and should be removed from her role.
She spoke to Sinead Mohan at Hill Dickinson and gave her story. Hill Dickinson sent her a transcript of her testimony. The record taken of her testimony was inaccurate and full of errors. She also had concerns that some of the questions were leading but we will leave neutral readers to form their own view.
She told Hill Dickinson that it was full of errors and that lots of her testimony had been left out but she did not hear back. Hardly the open report seeking for truth she had been led to expect.
Later, she issued a Subject Access Request (SAR) to view the entire report in light of her view that it was a wholly inaccurate record of her conversation with Ms Mohan. Nick Capper, Head of Compliance for Hill Dickinson, sent her the attached long-winded explanation as to why he was not doing so.
We say that, from where we are standing, it seems that Hill Dickinson were more concerned with colluding with UNiDAYS than delivering the transparent and open report initially promised by Courtney Lynch but claimed as a vindication by Matt Atkinson several months later – without anyone ever being allowed to see the report.
Judge for yourself.