The top 10 wildest HR calls received by Peninsula Group

Manchester, England – You could be forgiven for thinking that HR’s role is limited to hiring and firing. But there’s a lot more to it than that. And by a lot, we sure do mean A LOT.

In celebration of International HR Day on 20 May, global HR advisory Peninsula Group has put together the top 10 wild and wacky calls received by its advisors over the last year, to shine a spotlight on HR professionals everywhere.

Kate Palmer, Employment Services Director at Peninsula UK, says,

“One of the best things about working in HR is that no two days are ever the same, and you never know what you’re going to hear next. Just when you think you’ve dealt with any situation you can possibly think of, someone still manages to surprise you.

“It’s a common misconception that working in HR can be ‘boring’, just dealing with paperwork and contracts, but you need to be prepared for anything, as these calls clearly demonstrate. And failing to invest in a proper HR function can leave a business exposed to all kinds of damage, both reputational and financial. Believe it or not, it’s all in a day’s work for HR!”

Here’s just some of the unusual requests that HR Advisors have handled:

  1. I’ve been sent photos from our Christmas party that appear to show one of my managers with his genitals on top of another employee’s head. That employee is asleep. Do I need to call police, or can I just fire him?
  2. Yesterday I found one of my male employees hiding in a cupboard in the female toilets, with a piece of string holding the door almost closed. He said he was having his lunch in there, but it was the middle of the afternoon, and we have a staff canteen. What should I do?
  3. A few weeks ago, an employee said they needed to leave for the day, and I haven’t seen or heard from them since. They’re an excellent employee with exemplary attendance, so when they said they had to leave for personal reasons, I had no reason to be suspicious. Another employee has just shown me a newspaper article showing this employee was sentenced to 9 months in jail on the afternoon that they left work early. Do I need to keep their job open?
  4. I’ve had an ongoing issue with one of my employees getting extremely angry at work. They’ve been sent home a few times due to behavioural issues and I’m going to have to let them go. The employee has made threats against me and other employees, and even brought a knife to work one time. How do I do this safely?
  5. A few months ago, two of my company vehicles were involved in an accident. I’ve just discovered that the incident report filed after the accident was falsified. One of the people involved admitted that rather being the result of a kangaroo strike – as stated in the report – the two vehicles hit each other. The employees had staged photos with fake kangaroo tracks and made up a story in the report to cover their mistakes. What should I do?
  6. I run a realty company and one of my employees recently went out to a new client. After being buzzed into the building, a man in the lobby greeted her and she followed him to his apartment. He started acting very strangely; the employee got a bad feeling and left, with the man in pursuit. She safely got into the lift where another man said he was in fact the client who had been coming down to let her in. How do I ensure my staff are safe when working alone?
  7. A member of the public contacted me recently to say that one of our branded company vans had been spotted at a well-known dogging spot. People were visible inside the vehicle partaking in lewd acts. How do I address this?
  8. One of my employees submitted their resignation today, in a sympathy card that says ‘Sorry for your loss’ on the front. Do I need to accept this?
  9. I want to take a company car back from one of my employees as I’m concerned what they are doing with it outside working hours and have heard rumours they may be a gang target. I met with the employee, who said there’s nothing to worry about as a time and place has already been arranged for them to fight each other. What are my options here?
  10. Two of my employees are in a relationship with the same person, who also works here. There have been a few incidents in the workplace, and IT now says they’ve found explicit photos on a company phone. Can I fire them all?


Lisa Baker

Author Lisa Baker

More posts by Lisa Baker