Employee left £1,000 out of pocket by Bar-ology in Ely describes owner Robert Gilkes as ‘terrible, terrible business owner’

Barology founder Robert Gilkes

Barology founder Robert Gilkes - Credit: Archant

An employee left £1,000 out of pocket from his work at Bar-ology in Ely has described owner Robert Gilkes as a ‘terrible, terrible business owner’.

Bar-ology, on Fore Hill, has closed. Owner Robert Gilkes says he closed the club for "personal reaso

Bar-ology, on Fore Hill, has closed. Owner Robert Gilkes says he closed the club for "personal reasons." PHOTO: Seb Pearce - Credit: Archant

The former employee, who wishes to remain anonymous, says other members of staff are owed money.

The ex employee said: “He had banking issues which is understandable for a new business. That’s what he told people the issues lasted for about four months.

“Other staff haven’t been paid and about four or five ended up quitting. To begin with I agreed a rate of £75 a day through a verbal contract.

“I got paid one pay cheque and then because the bar wasn’t busy he let me go, which is fair enough but then he changed the day rate for the hours I had already worked to £55.

“I’ve got proof of it because it’s a bank transfer. We heard nothing about anyone being paid and eventually about four or five people ended up quitting.”

Mr Gilkes said: “When a company closes, it’s a responsibility of the directors to be aware of any liabilities the company has, what the status is of any liabilities is, and working to resolve these in a fair, just and unbiased manner.

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“Equally, when something like this happens, there’s always going to be disgruntled parties, from people that have potentially lost their jobs (however I hasten to add there were no redundancies), to future bookings which have therefore been cancelled.

“Though I am unable to comment on specific employees and details associated. staff were even paid amounts that they weren’t contractually due, as matters of good will by the company, since we operated a fairly robust employment contract, which was naturally in the interest of all involved parties.”

The employee said he last heard from Mr Gilkes around one month ago “when the venue was being cleared out.

“I’ve heard nothing from him since, but I’m planning to send him an email in the next few days with invoices for the work I’m yet to be paid for, because you can’t really lose £1,000. He shouldn’t be able to get away with this.

“No-one should be able to get away with it. He was just a terrible business owner.

“I met him once to try and get my friend’s money, but he just threatened me.”

Bar-ology was set up in 2016 as a private limited company with Robert Lawrence Gilkes as the sole director.

Bar-ology closed its doors in May but Mr Gilkes insists it was unrelated to a zero rating from East Cambs Council following a hygiene inspection.