10 OF THE WORST COMPANIES TO WORK FOR IN THE UK – PART 1

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– according to their employees

The Financial Ombudsman, Laura Ashley and Ladbrokes are some of the worst companies to work for in the UK, according to employee ratings on the job site Glassdoor.

The website holds a database of millions of company reviews curated by those who know the company best — their employees.

The Telegraph browsed dozens of company profiles on the platform and randomly selected 10 that had a rating of 2.6/5 or less – the average overall rating across the site is 3.3/5. These are not the 10 worst rated firms on the site, but a randomly selected sample, and in no particular order.

1. William Hill – 2.5/5

Bookmaker William Hill has a score of just 2.5/5 on Glassdoor, with both current and former employees calling the firm out for the “long hours” and poor “work/life balance”.

One employee said: “Not receiving breaks is one of the cons you get pretty used to”, while another said: “Unsociable work hours, most of which are spent working alone.”

On the plus side, employees say that the hours can be flexible, and that it is relatively easy to progress to more senior management.

A spokesperson for William Hill said: “William Hill employs 13,500 people in the UK many of whom tell us they love their jobs – in particular the interaction they have with customers and colleagues.

 

“There has been a lot of change in the business in the last 12 months which has been supported by many colleagues but which some have found more challenging.”

2. The Financial Ombudsman – 1.9/5

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has a dismal rating on Glassdoor, with just 1.9 stars out of 5. Employees complain of “challenging” and “stressful” conditions, in which “we simply don’t have enough time to do what’s asked of us”.

On the other hand, employees praised the dispute resolution service for its “good benefits” and “flexible working hours”.

A FOS spokesperson said: “Over the last few years, we’ve been changing the way our organisation works so that we can provide a better and more efficient service to our customers – with ombudsmen on the phone sorting out complaints in days rather than taking months.

“Of course, this has been a major shift for our own people and how they work, and although the overwhelming majority recognise the need for us to change that doesn’t mean it’s easy.”

3. Holland & Barrett – 2.3/5

With a rating of just 2.3/5, Holland & Barrett falls well below par when it comes to employee satisfaction.

A common complaint among former and current employees was that the roles involved “lone working for substantial period of time”, while one staff member said there was a “lack of bonuses for store management compared to comparable or even smaller companies out there”.

However, there was general consensus that the 25pc staff discount – rising to 50pc at Christmas – was a huge perk.

A spokesperson for the firm said: “We are one of the very few high street retailers to invest heavily in regular, in-depth staff training and our A-level equivalent qualification in nutrition, which our store associates have to acquire, can take up to a year and invariably prompts a number of associates to find less challenging roles.

“Some will no doubt report their version of events on websites such as this although they do have the opportunity to feedback to us directly.”

4. Mitie – 2.3/5

Strategic outsourcing company Mitie has a rating of just 2.3/5 on Glassdoor. Much of the criticism focuses on the “poor communication” between management and staff, with one employee saying that there are “a lot of changes that aren’t always communicated properly”.

Another said: “High staff turnover… and constant change of management.”

But others praised the firm for flexibility “which enables a good work/life balance”, and the fact that there is “room to take on more challenges and experience”.

A spokesperson for Mitie told The Telegraph: “At the Mitie results announcement on 12 June, the new executive leadership team announced that the business will be introducing a Mitie Way of talent management to develop and retain our people and create a winning culture that will make Mitie stand out from our peer group.

“This means that we are increasing investment in our people to make sure that they are engaged and have the skills they need to do their jobs with clear development opportunities to enable them to give their best during their Mitie career.”
 

5. JD Sports – 2.6/5

It might not come as much of a surprise to find JD Sports with a low employee rating, given reports from some workers last year that its Rochdale warehouse conditions were “worse than prison”. At the time, the sportswear giant said that it did not believe the claims were “an accurate reflection of our culture”.

But according to employee feedback on Glassdoor, there are “high demands for minimum wage”, “long hours” and “a lot of pressure”.

By Sophie Christie

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