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The Apprentice Episode Five – Lawyer’s summary

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Each episode of The Apprentice will be scrutinised by Chloe Harrold, an associate with leading UK employment law firm Doyle Clayton and she will pull out the HR blunders for your entertainment and education. Based in Canary Wharf, just a few floors below where Lord Sugar grills the candidates to be his next apprentice, Chloe has experience of advising senior executives as well as employers in all areas of employment law. She deals with contentious and non-contentious matters, including exit strategy, compromise agreements, discrimination, reorganisation and TUPE.

Chloe is also a qualified New York lawyer who qualified as a UK solicitor in 2009 whilst specialising in employment law at a City firm. She joined Doyle Clayton in 2012.

The Apprentice – Series 11, Episode 5

5 November – Child’s Play

This week the candidates were asked to create a children’s book for 3-5 year olds, record an audiobook and sell the books to retailers. Much hilarity followed as the creative juices flowed. Look no further than the potential names for the Connexus protagonist: Snottledink, Snufflegruffle, Snufflebum? Don’t be ridiculous, Snottydink it is!

The irony was not lost on me as it became clear that poor snotty Natalie Dean from team Snottydink, sorry, Connexus, was heading in one direction – out of the door. 

We’ve all had those days where the only place you want to be is tucked up in bed, definitely not doing anything work related. Unfortunately, in the land of The Apprentice, there’s no rest for the wicked. Dean bowed out of pitching to a potential buyer because of her cough. This was despite the fact it was a client she had worked with previously. It was clear that certain members of her team (Brett Butler-Smythe) had zero sympathy and expected Dean to suck it up and perform. Perhaps he was right, it could have made the difference between Dean being fired and proving what she claimed in her original Apprentice interview reel: “If I set my mind to something I won’t quit until I have done it”. The cynics among us might think that Dean’s previous poor pitching on the cactus shampoo task knocked her confidence and her cold was an opportunity to avoid that criticism again.

With mild and/or short-term ailments like a cold it’s up to the employee to self-certify if they feel unable to work for between one to seven days. If an employee takes excessive/regular sickness days this may raise alarm bells and lead to a performance management process, or even straight to dismissal for those who haven’t reached the Holy Grail of two years service. Employers should always bear in mind that, regardless of how things may appear on their surface, a disability could be lurking, bringing with it significant liabilities and potential risk. It pays to dig a bit deeper before making a drastic decision based on sickness absence, just in case.

This week’s episode was filled with so many hilarious quotes which sadly I don’t have space for so I’ll just pick one of my favourites to leave you with: “I’m used to being on the important team” (Richard Woods – no offence to the others on the ‘unimportant’ team, I’m sure).

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