By Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | August 30, 2012
Senior managers at Toll Holdings have been sanctioned for sexually inappropriate conduct during a workplace conference held recently in Sydney.Pictures leaked
to media company Fairfax today show three executives wearing aprons depicting the naked body of artist Michelangelo’s statue of David, with at least one performing an act with a toy donkey.
Toll Group Human Resources Director Lesley Staples says the apron-wearing staff, identified as managers Mike Valkenburg, Steve Bell and Lee Miller, caused sexual innuendo that was inappropriate for a workplace event.
Toll received complaints from staff at the event about the actions of the three men, leading to an investigation that culminated in them being sanctioned. They received counselling and discipline training on appropriate workplace behaviour.
“The investigation found that the aprons were brought to the Italian-themed team building cooking exercise by the external chefs involved and were in no way meant to cause offense,” Staples says.
“Following the conclusion of this investigation, Toll has taken action to ensure this sort of behaviour is not condoned and does not occur again.”
Staples says senior management has apologised to employees who attended the conference. She says the behaviour is inconsistent with Toll’s values and policies.
As Fairfax reported, Toll Managing Director Brian Kruger wrote to employees today
about the incident to say it had damaged the company’s reputation.