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 10
10 December – Elevenses
This week the teams were asked to create, brand and pitch a health food snack.
Versatile decided to make a bar. Charleine Wain’s research suggested that superfoods were the way to go. The anti-oxidant properties of the ingredients was a highlight, as was “nature’s viagra”, maca. Charleine, that means it might help conception – not to be confused with contraception.
Unfortunately Charleine’s failure to pay attention to the quantities of each ingredient meant that their product was a flop. Told that they had to remove the claim “high in anti-oxidants” from the packaging, it was astounding to see Charleine lie so blatantly in a pitch, claiming the bars have “extra large doses of anti-oxidants”. How embarrassing when in the next breath she had to explain what was crossed off the packaging.
Charleine and Gary Poulton then told Joseph Valente not to mention the negative feedback he’d received from his research. Joseph was uncomfortable about this, the only positive comments concerned the name of the product. Under pressure from his manager, he told the retail panel consumers “thought the product was amazing”.
False advertising is a criminal act. An employee concerned about their employer doing something unlawful, could turn whistle-blower, and attract significant protection from any resultant detriment or dismissal.
Connexus seemed to have a viable product: catchy packaging, a raw, vegetable crisp with an innovative production method. Then along came the oil and the absence of two key selling points from the packaging – raw and dehydrated. An oily health food product with no obvious USP? The retailers were left unimpressed.
Connexus took information away which could have helped them sell, while Versatile lied about their product. Neither of them secured any sales and both teams saw members in the boardroom. In a real life employment situation I think Gary and Charleine would have been on my hit list – putting their employer at risk of criminal prosecution and creating a whistleblower.
Ultimately it was Brett Butler-Smythe who was at the business end of Lord Sugar’s finger of doom. His verbose pitches without much substance behind them ended his Apprentice journey, leaving us with those immortal words: “the oil content is just to base the constitution of the chip, natural ingredients, give us the calibration of the ratios to the amounts of what we could incorporate into the chips”. Hmm, clear as mud.
Interview stage next week – it’s what we’ve all been waiting for!