BrewDog introduces workplace code following review of company's internal practices

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

BrewDog has introduced a workplace code following a review of its internal practices after allegations of a "toxic environment" and "a culture of fear" within the business came to a head earlier this year.

In July, co-founder James Watt announced that culture consultancy firm Wiser had been appointed to conduct the review, promising to share the findings internally and externally before the end of the year, after more than 75 ex-staff members signed an open letter accusing the Scottish brewing company of fostering a culture of fear. 

Additionally, the company promised a 3 percent salary increase for all employees having joined the company prior to January 1st 2021, as well as a list of reformative measures to be undertaken internally to ensure staff wellbeing - namely, the introduction of leadership and management development training across the business; an upsizing of the company's human resources team and what James Watt called "considerable investment in mental health provision."

Last night, following the completion of the review, recently-appointed chairman and ex-Asda chief Allan Leighton, as well as deputy chairman Blythe Jack sent an email to BrewDog staff, which said:

“Having read the review, we don’t subscribe to the characterisation of the company set out in the open letter and we know from having spoken to numerous crew members, neither do many of you.

“But it is also clear that BrewDog has made mistakes and the key now is to learn from them, address them and be better.”

"Our people are our most important asset – we know most companies say that, but it's absolutely true at BrewDog, so it's vital we reciprocate your hard work, diligence and passion by doing all we can as a business to look after you and provide you with a working environment in which you can thrive."

In a LinkedIn post, James Watt said the new Workplace Code "was a clear set of standards which provides guidance to our crew on the standards that we expect across the business  – ensuring our people know that what they are doing is in line with our Mission, Charter and Dogmas."

Finally, he said: "The open letter was tough to read, but it was the catalyst for a period of reflection, individually and as a business. The steps we have already taken and the further measures announced today will not only make a real difference to the experience of our hard working people and on their career development, they will also make BrewDog a stronger business, better prepared to capitalise on the huge opportunities we see ahead of us in 2022 and beyond.

"I’ve never been prouder, nor more excited, to have the privilege of leading BrewDog."

In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 21st December 2021

BrewDog introduces workplace code following review of company's internal practices