Bosses of betting giant Ladbrokes have found themselves embroiled in a Health and Safety battle, after they were accused of putting staff at risk by ‘single-manning’ their stores.
The news comes after former Ladbrokes head of Health and Safety, Bill Bennett, spoke up against single-manning at an employment tribunal – claiming that he had been sacked by the gambling giant for whistleblowing on the company’s controversial operating methods.
Mr Bennett told a tribunal that “Ladbrokes chose to prioritise profit over the health and safety of its employees,” by single-manning several of its stores – a practice which has previously been criticised by MPs, trade unions and senior officials on many occasions.
A spokesperson from Ladbrokes opposing Mr Bennet’s claims said that the former employee had brought legal action against the firm in a misguided attempt to “secure a significant amount of compensation from Ladbrokes”.
“We dispute his claims and will rigorously defend ourselves through the Employment Tribunal process.
“Our position is very different to Mr Bennett’s and we will make that very clear through that process,” the spokesperson said.
Yet several employees have criticised the company’s single-manning policy in online forums.
One female employee wrote: “Single manning is awful, as a young woman, working alone in the morning and especially until 10 at night, I feel very unsafe and often just feel like an easy target for would-be robbers.”
Another described the policy as “an accident waiting to happen,” whilst a third said that their experience working for Ladbrokes involved “single-manning for hours on end, and even full days”.
A Judge dismissed Mr Bennett’s application in Court, yet the dispute continues with both parties determined to see justice.