Another British Horse Society c**k-up

JanetGeorge

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I thought that after Sheila Hardy won her unfair dismissal case, there MIGHT have been an improvement in employer/employee relations. But now - Wendy Suddess - who has worked her backside off for the BHS for 17 years - has been sacked. I'm slowly gathering facts - but far too many people seem to be scared to open their mouths. Who knows what is going on??
 

minesadouble

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I may be able to find something out from my daughter?s coach as she she is very in the know. I don?t know Wendy personally but am fairly local to her and have only ever heard good things about her. It just all seems very very odd!
 

Red-1

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Oh, I have had a browse on Facebook. The post does not look very good for the BHS.

I don't know about any corruption, but I have not found them to be efficient or professional as an organisation. A bit left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing rather than any corruption.

They cost me a lot of money at one point with their inefficiency. But then, they did pay me back somewhat with the flood of Accredited Trainer jackets they sent and then did not want back.

It does seem very cliquey.

On the FB post it did seem ironic that someone is claiming that a senior staff member was banned from driving for 6 months for speeding during the BHS Slow Down For Horses campaign, and then claimed extra expenses from the charity as a result. Rather counterproductive and an own goal, but not corruption.
 

Cop-Pop

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While I fully support the aims BHS, the turnover of staff there is awful :( It seems like the people on the ground are doing their best without adequate support from the top, and it comes across as a bit shambolic really.
 

JanetGeorge

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I may be able to find something out from my daughter?s coach as she she is very in the know. I don?t know Wendy personally but am fairly local to her and have only ever heard good things about her. It just all seems very very odd!
Very, very odd - and more! I am hearing whispers about whistle blowing and financial 'irregularities'. I WILL get to the bottom of it!
 

Pearlsasinger

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Very, very odd - and more! I am hearing whispers about whistle blowing and financial 'irregularities'. I WILL get to the bottom of it!
TBH, now that you know that minimal information, it is best left for the process to be gone through. If details are drip fed to the general public/membership, that could be detrimental to both the process, which should be led by someone who is not involved and to the outcome for individuals. If, at the end of the process, you feel that either, it was flawed, or that the allegations made should be made public, for the benefit of employees or members, that is the time to discuss on a public forum/in the press.
 

Flicker

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Crikey, just read the ET ruling for the unfair dismissal claim. Procedurally flawed at every step. What was their HR person doing to advise them? As an organisation, you’d think they’d be scrambling to get their house in order after such a public evisceration.
 

Red-1

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I just Googled British Horse Society Employment Tribunal and it was not hard to find. Nothing lost by sharing, as it is already a matter of public record.


https://assets.publishing.service.g...ritish_Horse_Society_1303008_2016_reasons.pdf

Not that I have read it, the document looks like too hard going for a casual glance.
Read the last 2 pages in the final summing up.

Basic procedure wasn't followed. ACAS procedure was ignored. They completely cocked up.
BHS collated and made a case over 7 weeks, AH was then given 1 working day to submit hers.
Solicitors requested info from BHS, not given.
Sounds a bit of a witch hunt, even to me as a layperson!

Pretty damning reading! :(
 

Velcrobum

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Velcrobum

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Copied and pasted from a public statement:-

I cannot believe that the CEO of the British Horse Society is still being allowed to ruin so many people's lives with her narcissistic management! Having worked at the society for 12 years, I know just how knowledgeable, loyal and hard working Wendy Suddes is. But unfortunately, she is just another in a long line of "victims" who have tried to stand up to the toxic and corrupt BHS Management currently in place, only to be sacked in the most appalling manner.
BHS members now need to be made aware of what their membership money is being spent on - (as well as the CEO's expenses when she was banned from driving for 6 months for speeding during the BHS Slow Down For Horses campaign - you couldn't make it up!!!) - mostly defending tribunal cases from the many staff who have had to leave through stress and bullying, who have been unfairly dismissed or who have been paid off with a confidentiality agreement when they no longer agreed with Lynn Peterson - she truly is a sociopath!
I have seen it first hand, I used to work in the finance department.

Please share this far and wide so BHS members know what their hard earned cash is really being used for.
 

YorksG

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I have just read the whole judgement and am absolutely astonished at how the BHS, or certainly some of its quite senior employees, have behaved! If a local Riding Club behaved in that manner no-one would want to be a member, let alone the major organisation for all things equestrian in the UK :( What a dire state of affairs.
 

onemoretime

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I have just read the whole judgement and am absolutely astonished at how the BHS, or certainly some of its quite senior employees, have behaved! If a local Riding Club behaved in that manner no-one would want to be a member, let alone the major organisation for all things equestrian in the UK :( What a dire state of affairs.

It really is sad and shocking YorksG isn't it.
 

Rowreach

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That makes unsurprising reading to me from both perspectives (and yes I trawled through the whole lot).

Out of interest, how many of you have been on those RRS training days (under the old system, not Ride Safe)?
 

Red-1

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That makes unsurprising reading to me from both perspectives (and yes I trawled through the whole lot).

Out of interest, how many of you have been on those RRS training days (under the old system, not Ride Safe)?
I did a training day/competition once, I think it was called Instructor of the Year or some such thing. Counted as CPD but was cheaper. The very senior BHS person who was judging the competition was very unprofessional, used very discriminatory and simply sickening language against vulnerable clients of his.


TBH, had I thought anyone would listen and take action I would have complained. But, he was one of the old boys, so did not. I hate to think that there has been a which hunt, but there does have to be a system where people can complain and know that the people would actually be investigated.


As the BHS administers and judges exams, I do think that most things that could/should be complained about are just left.


It does seem, however, that in the case online there were serious errors.
 

Rowreach

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I did a training day/competition once, I think it was called Instructor of the Year or some such thing. Counted as CPD but was cheaper. The very senior BHS person who was judging the competition was very unprofessional, used very discriminatory and simply sickening language against vulnerable clients of his.


TBH, had I thought anyone would listen and take action I would have complained. But, he was one of the old boys, so did not. I hate to think that there has been a which hunt, but there does have to be a system where people can complain and know that the people would actually be investigated.


As the BHS administers and judges exams, I do think that most things that could/should be complained about are just left.


It does seem, however, that in the case online there were serious errors.
In my experience, nobody takes a blind bit of notice of the feedback forms, which are hardly anonymous, given they watch you fill them in and there aren't very many of you doing it. They didn't take any notice of mine anyway, and I signed it! :)

Reading the bit about the witness statements, where witnesses had asked to be anonymous in case there was any backlash, rings true to me. Small world, much cliqueyness.

The judgment is damning against the BHS for not adhering to its own procedures, but it also reduced the compensation amount by 20% in light of the alleged behaviour of the claimant and the complaints against her.
 

EventingMum

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That makes unsurprising reading to me from both perspectives (and yes I trawled through the whole lot).

Out of interest, how many of you have been on those RRS training days (under the old system, not Ride Safe)?
I have been on several of the old system RRS training days although none as recently as 2016. I can honestly say they were all well run and Shelia Hardy appeared very dedicated and professional in her role at them. RRS is never an exciting topic in my mind and IMO these days attracted a fair number of individuals who seemed to think being a trainer or an assessor gave them some status and were not always easy people to deal with.
 

Rowreach

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I have been on several of the old system RRS training days although none as recently as 2016. I can honestly say they were all well run and Shelia Hardy appeared very dedicated and professional in her role at them. RRS is never an exciting topic in my mind and IMO these days attracted a fair number of individuals who seemed to think being a trainer or an assessor gave them some status and were not always easy people to deal with.
It comes with the hi viz waistcoat and the clipboard :D
 

JanetGeorge

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Well, I have just been on the phone for an hour and have a BIT more info (waiting for a full dossier by snail mail.) Seems that anyone who doesn't meet the CE's requirements stands N chance of getting on the board. Last elections, 2 candidates - two vacancies. Interviewed by the Chairman, a couple of other board members and the CE (since WHEN did CE's have a say in appointing THEIR bosses.) The problem is to find people prepared tp speak up - their jobs are on the line if they are employed - and if they are FBHS, BHSI etc, then they also could find it costs them dear. And the members keep paying for it! Not much hope for horse welfare!
 
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Well, I have just been on the phone for an hour and have a BIT more info (waiting for a full dossier by snail mail.) Seems that anyone who doesn't meet the CE's requirements stands N chance of getting on the board. Last elections, 2 candidates - two vacancies. Interviewed by the Chairman, a couple of other board members and the CE (since WHEN did CE's have a say in appointing THEIR bosses.) The problem is to find people prepared tp speak up - their jobs are on the line if they are employed - and if they are FBHS, BHSI etc, then they also could find it costs them dear. And the members keep paying for it! Not much hope for horse welfare!
I have worked with Shelia on ROW for over 20 years with the greatest respect for her dedication and competence and as Chair of a Local Access Forum I have tried for 3 years to get the BHS to send a representative to this Statutory body under the Crow Acts. This also throws a different light on the BHS decision to close down the Horse and Pony Breeds Committee Chaired by a Past President of the BHS and the Vice chair CEO of SPGB.
 

Nasicus

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honetpot

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They are a bunch of cowboys.
I always thought they were old fashioned and having worked for an employer that had no real understanding of employment procedures I can understand how they could think they could be judge and jury.
 

onemoretime

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Well, I have just been on the phone for an hour and have a BIT more info (waiting for a full dossier by snail mail.) Seems that anyone who doesn't meet the CE's requirements stands N chance of getting on the board. Last elections, 2 candidates - two vacancies. Interviewed by the Chairman, a couple of other board members and the CE (since WHEN did CE's have a say in appointing THEIR bosses.) The problem is to find people prepared tp speak up - their jobs are on the line if they are employed - and if they are FBHS, BHSI etc, then they also could find it costs them dear. And the members keep paying for it! Not much hope for horse welfare!
What a dreadful way to treat good staff, I am totally astounded at what I have been reading. Its so hard to get good staff as I know in the yard, that you hang on to them and treat them with respect. Also if people like BHSI's and FBHS feel they cannot speak out what hope is there for the future!
 

onemoretime

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They are a bunch of cowboys.

Its certainly looks like it Honeypot, surely they have lawyers they can consult on Employment Law! I feel so sorry for both ladies who have been treated so badly. Not sure I won't to be associated with BHS anymore!
 

McFluff

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The tribunal finding makes shocking reading. Rather concerned to see that they have (or had?) a Director of HR - and they then had HR consultancy support! I’m embarrassed for my profession. I expect a far higher level of competence from even the most junior members of my HR team. Even those at the beginning of their training would know that wasn’t an appropriate way to lead or handle an alleged misconduct. Shocking. I would expect any employment lawyer worth their salt to advise them to settle out of court, the fact they didn’t indicates either total arrogance or a culture of fear and bullying.
Shame as it puts the whole reputation and purpose of the society into question, although I’m sure they have some very dedicated staff sticking it out as they’ll be so passionate about the original purpose of the society.
 
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