Carole Middleton’s former employees at Party Pieces, in Berkshire, claim the office is a stressful environment
Kate Middleton’s mum bombards her party business staff with emails, docks pay for visits to the dentist and shuns those who disagree with her, it is claimed.
Ex-employees of Party Pieces have levelled the allegations against Carole Middleton, who started the business with husband Michael more than 30 years ago.
One former worker claims to have received 71 emails from Mrs Middleton, 64, in one day, and another claims they decided to quit a management role due to stress.
Others claim the mother-in-law of Prince William irritated staff when she would click her fingers to get someone’s attention while under pressure.
Even the sound of her car pulling up outside the office was enough to set staff “on edge”, former employees, who were not named, told the Mail on Sunday.
They claim Mrs Middleton, mum to Kate, Pippa and James, runs the Berkshire-based company with a high-handed management style, and the work environment was stressful.
One former worker claims time off for a dentist appointment might count against staff
The man said: “I could understand having to clock in if you are being paid by the hour – but we were salaried staff.”
Another former employee claimed: “If you disagreed with her then she would bestow her favour on someone else, whoever happened to be flavour of the month.
“She would go out for lunch with them and be very friendly towards them. You would then find you were being cut out of emails that were within your speciality.”
That person claimed Mrs Middleton would snap her fingers when she wanted someone to approach her desk, calling it “demeaning and unprofessional”.
It is claimed Party Pieces staff must enter a personal code into a computer – which tracks when they come and go – to make sure they work their allotted hours.
The names of those who fall short of their quote may be emailed to Mrs Middleton, and they may be given the choice of having money deducted from their pay or making up their hours, the report claims.
A former senior manager claims he quit in 2014 due to stress.
He said: “It got to the point when I was stressed… it was more or less taking me over, really. They kept promising me pay rises but it was all take, never give.
“‘I was quite high up and I’d be sat in meetings with Carole and there would be what seemed like full-on family arguments.”
Last month, reports said Party Pieces had to lay off three members of staff amid increased competition in the market for party supplies.
Former staff claim Mr Middleton, 69, is like a father figure who acts as a mediator and provides a shoulder to cry on.
The couple started Party Pieces in 1987 when Mrs Middleton was a flight attendant and Mr Middleton was a dispatcher with British Airways.
All three of their children have worked for the business, which sells decorations and supplies for everything from children’s birthday parties and baby showers to hen parties and weddings.
According to the company’s website, it has “a team of 40 staff who send out 1000s of orders each week, as well as a dedicated customer service team”.