Unless you’ve sworn off the media completely (and I wouldn’t blame you if you had), you’ll be well aware of the Pincher saga – the bad behaviour of MP Chris Pincher, and the government’s various attempts to deal with the situation.

What I’m more interested in is how the Carlton Club – the venue for the alleged events – are dealing with it.

So far there’s been radio silence from the club, and my guess is that they subscribe to the time-honoured approach of “having a quiet word” and asking him either to resign as a member or warn him that he will have to if anything like this happens again.

In theory, that’d be a nice, non-messy way to deal with it.

It rarely works out that way in practice.

Allowing someone who’s behaved inappropriately to remain a member has a residual impact – it makes guests and staff feel unsafe.

After all, if he thought it was reasonable to behave like that the first time, how can you know that it won’t happen again?

This year we’ve seen a spate of member incidents at the clubs we work with.

Perhaps due to solitude of lockdown, it appears that some members have forgotten how to behave, and sadly, the most common manifestation of that is a female staff member being touched inappropriately.

And that’s exactly the sort of incident that should never be dealt with via a “quiet word”

• You must ensure a safe working environment for your staff
• Which means you must have it written into your member disciplinary policy that the member can/will be suspended while the behaviour is investigated
• And you also need to make sure their right of appeal doesn’t allow them to call an EGM (this is happening right now in a club we work with)

In short, what you do with your members matters, and if you don’t have any disciplinary policy in place, that needs to change.

Give us a call if you are a member of a private club and have had any members behaving badly. We can help and point you in the right direction.

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