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Carlsberg Boss Sacked After Throwing Lockdown Party

Daisy Phillipson

| Last updated 

Carlsberg Boss Sacked After Throwing Lockdown Party

A former Carlsberg boss has been given the boot after organising a piss-up in a brewery during lockdown. 

Martin Entwistle did more than ruffle a few feathers on 6 August 2020 when he invited eight of his pals for a few beers at what was formerly Carlsberg's London Fields Brewery (LFB) in Hackney before it was shut down. 

A recent employment tribunal hearing heard how the night consisted of dinner, drinks and then a ‘guided tour’ of the brewery, which was said to end in 'boisterous, alcohol-fuelled horseplay' (their words, not ours). 

Credit: Google Maps
Credit: Google Maps

An investigation was launched into the night out after staff members raised concerns over their boss' behaviour.

Entwistle, who was managing director of Carlsberg's LFB and Taproom at the time, was caught on CCTV alongside his guests and he was swiftly sacked for gross misconduct. 

He clapped back at the dismissal with claims against the Danish beer company, saying it was an unfair dismissal and a breach of contract, and that the Covid rules at the time were sent in an email as ‘nothing more than guidelines’. 

However, the tribunal has now ruled that Entwistle did, in fact, breach his contract of employment with his ‘alarming’ behaviour, and that his actions amounted to ‘gross misconduct’. 

As for Covid rules, the party was held at a time when lockdown restrictions had just been eased slightly in the UK, but even then only six people or less were allowed to meet in an outdoor setting and just two were permitted to meet indoors. 

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

What’s more, Carlsberg had introduced its own measures in order to reduce risk for workers and prepare for the return of a ‘vulnerable’ member of staff, which were said at the hearing to be ‘clear and unmistakable’. 

Among the ‘mandatory’ rules put in place in June, no one was permitted to enter the brewery unless it was an ‘emergency’ - in other words, definitely not for a piss-up. 

As well as the ‘boisterous horseplay’, no one at the party was wearing face masks or social distancing. 

In his appeal, Entwistle, who now runs online retailer All About The Beer, admitted that while it was 'wrong' to bring people into the brewery, it didn't pose ‘any danger or risk to any employee or visitors'.

But Employment Judge Claude Forde dismissed his claims, stating: "I find that the information set out in the [June] email contained rules that were clear and unmistakable in terms of their intention and purpose.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

"Staff working at LFB on the night in question for whom Mr Entwistle had responsibility were alarmed and concerned at his actions; such that they raised their concerns with those that manage him.

"I find that the acts of Mr Entwistle while in the brewery and in the days after amount to a clear and substantial breach of the contract of employment.

"His decision to contravene the rule regarding unauthorised entry to the brewery, his failure to have regard to the health and safety of his fellow employees and his attempts to post-rationalise his action after the event are all serious matters.

'In other words, his actions - as I have identified individually and cumulatively - amounted to gross misconduct."

Featured Image Credit: LinkedIn/Google Maps

Topics: Food And Drink, UK News, Coronavirus

Daisy Phillipson
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