Fairmont Hotel in St Andrews taking action to tackle sexual harassment

The Fairmont Hotel in St Andrews says it's "extremely disappointed" to learn of allegations of sexual harassment.

It's after allegations of groping, bullying and verbal abuse were made by a group of female staff.

They were first raised in an article by student newspaper The Saint, and have now also appeared in the Sunday Times.

Co-author Zainab Haji says: "It's really sad that female employees have to go through this while at work.

"There was a particular pattern at the Fairmont so I think that's what was most shocking."

Fellow co-author Charles Gorrivan says customers and older male managers would bully or make unwanted sexual advances towards staff.

He adds that it's not unusual for clients to make staff feel uncomfortable in the workplace, including at the Fairmont.

The pair also claim complaints about the behaviour "weren't dealt with in ways that made employees feel comfortable", and ignored by managers.

They hope their article will encourage others to report similar incidents in their own workplace.

A spokesperson for The Fairmont said they are “extremely disappointed” to learn of the allegations.

“These reports were taken very seriously,” they added.

“A thorough investigation was launched immediately by our corporate management team, and corrective action was taken.

“An extensive plan is being actioned to address all concerns, with continual monitoring and communication with all colleagues.

“Actions have been taken by hotel leadership, in tandem with the corporate team, to ensure the hotel is operating in accordance with our global protocols in place to prevent inappropriate conduct and ensure a safe and supportive environment for all our colleagues.

“We have and will continue to explore opportunities to further strengthen policies, across the organization and specific to this property, to ensure employees feel safe and supported in reporting any instances of misconduct with greater immediacy of response.

“Any attempts to suppress such concerns will not be tolerated.”

Willie Rennie, the former Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and MSP for North East Fife said the hotel would need to “rebuild confidence”.

Meanwhile, Wendy Chamberlain, St Andrews MP said: “The allegations made against members of staff are extremely serious and the appropriate action must be taken.”

The Saint article can be read here.

The Sunday Times article can be read here.



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