Revealed: UCL bar supervisors break employment policy for ‘good friends’

Supervisors at a UCL student bar have been blatantly violating employment policy and employing their friends over other qualified students, London Student can reveal.

The Institute Bar, which is at the UCL’s Institute of Education, told UCL students who were employed at the bar that they could no longer continue their employment once they had graduated. However supervisors told other students that they could continue working, which would break the Students’ Union rules.

An HR spokesperson for UCL Students’ Union confirmed this: “You will not be able to continue working for the union if you are no longer a student and have left UCL.”

One supervisor at The Institute Bar said that though this continued employment was “not technically allowed,” it had happened on previous occasions. She also said that “it was a rare exception” that supervisors were “not allowed to make.”

A former employee, who does not wish to be named, told London Student that this rule was often “bent” by The Institute supervisors for their “good friends”. They said that at least three students have been allowed to keep working at the bar after graduation, due to their close relationships with the supervisors, while others were told they would have to leave.

“It made me sad. It seemed like those who were sticklers to the rules with me were now bending rules for their friends,” the former employee said. “So being a ‘friend’ to the manager is more important?”

When presented with the claim that management at the UCL bar had allowed employment to continue following graduation, the Student’s Union spokesperson said that they were “aware that some supervisors have allowed a few students to continue their work”, but suggested that this was due to “an urgent business need,” rather than undue bias.

The bar opened in January last year and was closed during September due to health and safety problems. It is currently open to all students and staff at UCL.

Photography Credit: Michele Theil

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