Sainsbury‘s chairman David Tyler has been sanctioned by the grocer after he allegedly used company staff to work on his country house.
An investigation by the Guardian has uncovered documents which reveal Tyler, who has been chairman of Sainsbury‘s since 2009, was subject to an internal investigation that found three “material breaches” of company policy to have taken place.
Tyler, who is also chairman of shopping centre developer Hammerson, was found to have used a Sainsbury‘s sustainability team member to review plans for his barn conversion in East Sussex in 2013.
The employee visited the property numerous times during working hours. Tyler proceeded to ask supermarket building contractors to develop an action plan, then install a £10,000 boiler to the property.
A contractor working for Sainsbury‘s was found to be asked for services from Tyler, who was paid £496,000 by the retailer last year.
The chairman voluntarrily contributed £5000 to charity to effectively compensate the workers for their time.
“This is an historical issue dating back to 2013,” the retailer said in a statement.
“The chairman volunteered the information and the board conducted a thorough investigation in line with company policy, as they would with any other colleague in the same circumstances.
“As a result of the investigation, the chairman was given a warning but the board concluded that his failure to comply with company policy was unintentional, that he did not act dishonestly and made no financial gain.”
The report concluded that Tyler had breached Sainsbury‘s code of conduct as well as company policy relating to conflict of interest and relationships at work.
Tyler stated he “was aware of the general spirit of the policies – though not all the details within them.”