Home London News Bovell of Holland & Barrett Covent Garden ‘would fat-shame, use homophobic language, and bully staff’

Bovell of Holland & Barrett Covent Garden ‘would fat-shame, use homophobic language, and bully staff’

Dennis Bovell and Oana Minzatu

Dennis Bovell, formerly of Heathfield Drive, CR4 3RD, Mitcham, manager at Holland & Barrett Covent Garden, Long Acre, would ‘fat-shame’ staff, use homophobic language, and routinely ‘bully and humiliate’ inferior staff, according to anonymised reports.

Dennis Bovell began employment with Holland & Barret Covent Garden in 2019, and soon after, attained a reputation for hostile behaviour. One employee describes how she would routinely hear him make fun of a Muslim female’s weight, calling her a ‘whale’ in confidence to her while laughing.

Holland & Barrett Covent Garden Long Acre
It is Holland and Barretts flagship store

She also describes an incident where he repeatedly goaded a young male employee who recently began working at the Covent Garden store by ridiculing him with belittling language unprovoked. After weeks of this he later became very distressed in front of staff and customers and demanded that he stop. Dennis Bovell was later reported to his line manager.

Another male, formerly employed at Holland & Barrett Covent Gardens describes how Bovell once called another male employee ‘gay’ and asked that he ‘keep his distance from him’ because he ‘thought he worked out too often and smiled too much’.

Another female employee describes witnessing Bovell tell a male employee he would ‘smack him in his mouth’ if he did not complete a duty in the store. He then chased him round the store in front of horrified customers before squaring up to him. Several staff members had to pull Bovell away to avoid the situation escalating.

The victim was so distressed his resigned from the Covent Garden store that same day, in what could be described as constructive dismissal. The matter was referred to the area manager at the time, Adam Moore, of Holland & Barrett’s senior managerial team, and an investigation was launched in co-ordination with Oana Minzatu, Covent Garden’s most senior member of staff.

Oana Minzatu
Oana Minzatu, Brentwood

Oana Minzatu, of Brentwood, CM14, has faced allegations of misconduct herself, and in 2017-2018 she was investigated for the use of racial slurs against a Muslim employee. An allegation was made that before she left the store Minzatu searched her bag and said “I hope there’s not a bomb in there”. She has since retained her position.

Former employees have been sharing their experiences and the failures of internal investigations that have fostered a ‘toxic’ environment where employees feel forced to endure bullying, ridicule, and humiliation on a daily basis.

Adam Moore was approached for comment but he has not provided a response at this time.

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