Carlsberg boss sacked after probably the best lockdown p****-up in the world

A Carlsberg director has been fired for organising a 'p**s up' in a brewery during lockdown.

Martin Entwistle invited eight mates to join him for beers at the taproom of Carlsberg's London Fields Brewery despite a "vulnerable" member of staff meaning strict coronavirus measures had to be enforced.

An employment tribunal in Cambridge heard Mr Entwistle has been pushed from his post following CCTV footage at the Hackney, north London boozer from the "guided tour" he gave pals on 6 June 2020.

As a result of his group's "boisterous, alcohol-fuelled horseplay", the director was told his behaviour was 'unbecoming' of his position in the company and he was sacked for gross misconduct.

Mr Entwistle, however, took on the alcohol giant claiming unfair dismissal and breach of contract as the enforced rules shared over email were "nothing more" than "guidelines".

Carlsberg responded to his allegations saying the regulations were in fact "clear and unmistakable" rules to be abided by as opposed to suggestions of best practice.

At the time of incident, the government had relaxed a complete lockdown to allowing up to six people to meet outside and only two people inside, all the while remaining socially distanced.

Larger groups could only meet for either work, charity or education where "reasonably necessary", none of which applied to Mr Entwistle who now runs online retailer All About The Beer.

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The tribunal also heard that Carlsberg had outlined extra rules to employees in London for the return of a "vulnerable" female colleague – named only as 'K' who had shielded for three months.

They included "no one" being allowed in the brewery area "unless there is an emergency" including when no one from the Brew Team is in.

Security footage recorded neither Mr Entwistle or his friends wearing face masks and "at least one" of them engaging in "boisterous, alcohol-fuelled horseplay".

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Several staff members raised their concerns about their managing director's antics and a follow up investigation found he had "demonstrated ignorance" of social distancing guidelines and "failed to control the behaviour" of his friends.

Mr Entwistle tried to "justify" his after dinner entry to the brewery by saying he knew vulnerable 'K' would not be back for another four days.

His excuses failed to land and in September 2020 he was told he had committed a "very serious error of judgement" with an "extremely irresponsible" act of gross misconduct.

Mr Entwistle appealed the decision but this was rejected and he brought claims of unfair dismissal and breach of contract to an employment tribunal.

However, Judge Claude Forde dismissed his claims and stated brewery rules on Covid were mandatory rules.

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