BrewDog is to enlist the services of a third party to carry out an independent review of its culture and HR practices following accusations by former employees that the brewer and pub operator fostered a toxic working environment.

In the open letter, 61 former employees, plus at least 45 others who did not give their names, made a series of damaging accusations in which they said the culture left them feeling “afraid and miserable”.

The business said that as it has begun to take stock on what has been “a difficult, but important few days” its focus now was on taking action.

“For those ex-employees we clearly let down, we can’t and we won’t leave things at an apology - they spoke up to see change and we will make that happen.

“And for the fantastic people currently working at BrewDog, we intend not just to make incremental improvements here, but to build a programme of cultural and leadership and development that not only inspires a better culture at BrewDog, but sets an example for our industry,” BrewDog said in a statement.

Over the next 10 days it is to conduct an anonymous staff survey, exploring the themes laid out in the letter, and others, so that it gets a comprehensive picture of the company’s culture on every level, and can then “build a programme of positive change”.

“We are ensuring all team members know of our existing anonymous channels of escalation, and the independently managed crew support helplines, offering access to counsellors and specialists for anyone affected by the events of or issues raised this week. We’ll also be implementing listening groups to work with our team members and hear their feedback,” it said.

BrewDog has also made several recent appointments, including a new chairperson to lead the board, Blythe Jack. She is the managing director at TSG, BrewDog’s investment partners and joined on 3 June.

While Ren Navarro has been appointed as an independent beer industry diversity specialist to help develop employees’ personal and professional growth. She has given talks on diversity and inclusion at several colleges and countless festivals, panels, radio shows, and podcasts across North America.

BrewDog is also looking to appoint a mental health and wellbeing ambassador.

Topics