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The Apprentice – Series 12, Week Eight – Event Planning

Chloe Harrold

Each episode of The Apprentice will be scrutinised by Chloe Harrold, a senior employment lawyer with the progressive business services group, Outset, and she will pull out the HR blunders for your entertainment and education. Based in Maidstone TV Studios, watching out in case Lord Sugar lands on the helipad, Chloe has experience of advising employers and senior executives in all areas of employment law. She deals with contentious and non-contentious matters, including exit strategy, settlement agreements, discrimination, reorganisationand 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. Having spent several years working in the City she joined Outset in 2016.

An (Apprentice) Shark’s Tale

This week the teams were tasked with planning two exclusive events at top London attractions. They had to decide on themes, organise food, drinks, entertainment, sell tickets and try to avoid dishing out refunds.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any more cringe-worthy, Dillon embarked on a self-indulgent, tack-tastic, singing-mermaid bonanza. Was it just clever editing, designed to allow the result to be a real surprise, or did that event look truly awful? Guests hopping around after ping pong balls, women dressed as mermaids singing Disney songs, Dillon dressed as a cruise ship captain handing out leis. It looked so lame but amazingly Dillon’s team won the task and achieved 100% customer satisfaction. I literally couldn’t watch some parts they were so embarrassing, but analysing the business side of things: the team had a pricing strategy, which they stuck to, they worked cohesively and they kept their customers happy.

Paul’s team on the other hand were a shambles when it came to pricing – they couldn’t decide how much they would sell the tickets for, what was included and even how many spaces there were on the special tour. Paul failed to be clear enough with his team and Jessica mis-sold tickets. When the rest of her sub-team sought direction she told them to use their common sense. I’m all for common sense, but that isn’t an acceptable answer from the sub-team leader to “what’s our pricing strategy?”

Paul’s solution to demote Jessica unceremoniously and replace her with Frances was harsh – and in a real workplace could be landing an employer in hot water. When an employee is struggling to accomplish an important, time sensitive task it can be tempting to re-assign it, or even do it yourself. Just be careful: depending on the circumstances this could lead to a breach of implied contractual terms, enabling the employee to resign and claim constructive dismissal.

Then, to top off Paul’s crusade against Jessica he made sure the customers ratted her out and then he and Jessica proceed to have a heated row, in front of said customers. Ultimately Paul’s confrontational attitude saw him getting the pointy end of Lord Sugar’s finger – he talked back one too many times.

Next week we’ll be joining the teams for a journey into the virtual reality world of gaming. As the numbers dwindle its getting more exciting. Personally, I’m rooting for Trishna. How about you? Who would you hire?

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