A couple of emails have come into the blog over the past few days (emails to southside socialist at hotmail dot co dot uk) which suggest that the problems within Lush previously raised by employees here haven’t been resolved. This is one of them, with identifying details omitted.
You absolutely have permission to post this, with any identifying details left out or omitted. I’m doing this to warn other people and so wouldn’t want to have it come back to bite me.
Thank you for your kindness, it’s been difficult as I did really love the job itself. The company set up is very very flawed with major problems everywhere. Overall it was a toxic environment and that’s my silver lining for having left.
I’ve read your blog for the entirety of my career at Lush, I used it as a warning for me to get out when things got bad. I found I didn’t listen, however I should have.
I was recently dismissed, without any form of disciplinary warning (verbal or written). Their excuse for this was that my service only stood at 1 year 8 months, and the minimum for a proper disciplinary was 2 years.
The reasons they gave me were poor attitude, reluctance to work and unprofessional attitude on social media. I found these reasons to be ironic and somewhat insufficient as I had been sent to work to London with them twice through my consistent hard work both in store, and on their social media accounts as their social media representative. I also found it ironic that one of the reasons was unprofessional attitude on social media due to the fact that the company who praises themselves on allowing staff to be who they want to be, and hiring people solely based on performance, and not of personal background. The other two reasons were based upon two weeks of developmental feedback. I don’t think it’s fair that my whole career with them was whittled down by a bad fortnight.
I had also disclosed to my manager that I was having mental health problems, and was seeking help from the NHS a week before my dismissal meeting took place.
I was given a four weeks paid notice period, and asked to leave immediately. I felt embarrassed, ashamed, and questioned everything I’d done wrong (one of my pieces of feedback was that ‘I looked like i didn’t want to be there’). I felt more so embarrassed because a manager of mine had recently been demoted for having 7 counts of bullying raised against them. This manager had a chance to appeal the decision, and was still given a job, just not one as high up as they had before.
This highlights how utterly inconsistent Lush is as an employer. They’re supposedly great to work for, and I just think that people need to learn that all that glitters is not gold with Lush. I’ve moved on now, but please do keep me anonymous. I just wanted to tell my story as a warning to other young folk getting excited about a career with Lush. Lush doesn’t give a fuck about what you want. If you’re not management, they just view you as a drunk student working part-time. That’s all you’ll be to them, I assure you.
It’s too late for this person’s career with Lush, but my advice to anyone, in any job, is make sure you have joined an appropriate union, and at the first sign of anything worrying, get their support. That’s what they’re for.
A couple of other emails have come in from someone else. We’re in the process of discussing what they would like published, and they are providing me with certain documents as evidence of their story. It’s another of the sort of story that makes me want to tear my hair out. So watch this space.