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Legal Protection For Lyreco Members

Monday, October 6, 2014

GMB Vows To Protect Members Employed By Office Supplies Firm Lyreco From Culture Of Harrying And Harassment

Lyreco must follow the ACAS Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures and help and advice is just a phone call away for members at UNIONLINE on 0300 333 0303 says GMB

GMB, the union for staff at office supplies company Lyreco, is calling on senior managers in UK and Ireland to learn and implement the lesson from an Employment Tribunal in Newcastle upon Tyne last year when field sales worker David Atkin was awarded over £13,000 following his unfair dismissal by the company. See ET tribunal findings attached as pdf to the foot of this press release on the GMB website at . 

Lyreco is a French owned workplace supplier employing about 10,000 staff worldwide in 44 countries. Lyreco employ 1,500 staff in the UK and Ireland at 19 sites. The Head office and National Distribution Centre is based in Telford in Shropshire. The sites are as follows: Aberdeen: Airdrie: Basildon: Bracknell: Bridgend:  Bristol: Dartford: Exeter: Leeds: Leicester: Luton: Manchester:  Norwich: Southampton: Telford: Tottenham North London: Warrington: Washington: and Dublin 12, Ireland.

Staff work in field sales, in customer services call centres, in warehouse operations and as drivers delivering supplies as well as in accounts and other head office functions.

David Day, GMB Regional Officer, said “GMB members have long complained about a culture of harrying and harassment by managers particularly for the field sales staff. GMB is concerned that some of the company managers are not following either the company’s own disciplinary procedures or the requirements of the ACAS statutory code for discipline and grievances.

GMB members out in the field as sales representatives know of the pressure from some Lyreco managers to meet sales targets and of the harrying and other tactics they use to drive staff. Cutting corners on the disciplinary procedure and frightening staff with losing their jobs is part of these tactics in too many cases as the Newcastle ET found.

The Newcastle ET said that the disciplinary process followed in the case they considered was at worst a sham, but at best lacked any form of investigation or analysis. And that it demonstrates practices which HR any manager should quite frankly be ashamed of.

On the appeal the ET said that the manager who dealt with it was not independent,  did not have open mind, was partisan and biased. It concluded that the appeal was not worthy of the name.

GMB will take action to enforce the legal rights of members enjoy. Lyreco managers should always follow the ACAS Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures on every occasion that they want to discipline our members. Where managers cut corners help and advice is just a phone call away for members at GMB’s own legal firm UNIONLINE on 0300 333 0303.”


Contact: Martin Smith on 07974 251 722, Paul Clarke 07713 077 193 or GMB Press Office 07921 289 880, 07974 251 823

*Subject to rule

Notes to editors

See ET tribunal findings attached in additional resources on the GMB website at

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Additional Resources

ET Tribunal Findings

download pdf1814Kb (pdf) - 06 October 2014

ET Tribunal Findings