Until March 2013, the Motorcycle Action Group had an enthusiastic, expanding national membership and a dynamic campaigns team. Then everything changed, as 3/5ths of the staff resigned. Why?

In 2009 MAG UK Ltd acquired a professionally trained  team for the first time in its history, campaigning for the rights of British motorcyclists. The timeline of events below outlines how mismanagement and workplace bullying led to them losing it. (Documentation is being added regularly)

In a farcical election, three new Directors are elected. Mr Liversidge, Mr Broad and the defeated Mr Walker who is presented with a seat when incumbent Mr Turner is pursuaded to stand down during lunchbreak.
New Director Liversidge begins attacks on staff through email, levelling accusations of incompetence, wrongdoing and politicking. During the subsequent year, none of the accusations are substantiated. (Emails are contained within the ‘evidence bundle’ presented to Tribunal)
At the bi-monthly MAG UK Limited Board meeting, a raft of decisions are taken directly affecting staff and changing staff contracts without any consultation and after the explicit removal of the General Secretary from the discussion. The decisions are based on false allegations made against staff, without testing their validity or giving staff an opportunity to refute them.
(Emails are contained within the ‘evidence bundle’ presented to Tribunal)
Staff are delighted at the appointment of Selina Lavender and the promise of visits to the office to hear staff concerns in absolute confidentiality (emails are contained within the ‘evidence bundle’ presented to Tribunal). Director Liversidge emails the National Committee to state that the Board have decided to remove Ms Powell as a Director as she is recovering from illness. Ms Powell has the right to nominate a substitute, but this right is denied her and instead the Board appoint Pete Davison as Director to replace her. Director Liversidge states that the Board will permit her to remain as Chairman, although this is not a decision the Board is entitled to make. Ms Powell has not been consulted and the decision is not communicated to her until the national Committe have ratified the decision.
A formal request is made by Campaigns Manager Paddy Tyson to cease being an employee and instead become a contractor, to reduce workplace tension and to save MAG money. The Board agree at the meeting the following day and a contract is drawn up within days. The Board then fails to implement its decision.
Following a series of unsubstantiated claims and accusations against staff made by Mr Liversidge, Dr Mannings writes to the National Committee to refute claims made by Mr Liversidge that the staff had requested Dr Mannings support them in a conspiracy against Director Liversidge. (Emails are contained within the ‘evidence bundle’ presented to Tribunal)
Director Liversidge specifically instructs staff not to contact the Information Commissioners Office regarding the legality of releasing MAG members’ personal data as the Board had requested staff to do. This was data members had expressly asked should not be made public and which staff believed would break the Data Protection Act. (Emails are contained within the ‘evidence bundle’ presented to Tribunal)
After almost one year of verbal and written assaults and accusations made by Directors toward staff, and repeated requests to management for assistance, 3 of the 5 staff at MAG UK Limited file formal grievances against 2 Directors, Mr Liversidge and Mr Walker.
During staff meetings in December and January with the Chairman of MAG Den Powell and Director Selina Lavender, tasked with HR responsibility, staff had confided and again voiced concern about the escalating bullying by other Directors. Shortly after Ms Lavender submitted her report to the Board of Directors, the very Directors who the staff were concerned about took over the HR function and demanded a compulsory meeting with all staff on 18th March. Immediately after the meetings the Directors discussed by email what the grievance investigation would discover and what the staff would then be accused of prior to dismissal. (Emails are contained within the ‘evidence bundle’ presented to Tribunal)

Witness Statement
Transcription of General Meeting
18th March

Witness Statement
Transcription of Management interview with employee Paddy Tyson after grievance process had formally started

The MAG Board decides the Director recently appointed by Mr Liversidge and Mr Walker, should be the director who undertakes the grievance investigation into their behaviour. This same director had demonstrated his prejudice only days earlier. When this fact is identified by Mr Brown he is immediately suspended from work until further notice pending two investigations: one investigation into the grievance, another “into an allegation of misconduct or gross misconduct concerning your refusal to follow reasonable management instructions and undermining of the management body.” The Board also stated that they reserved the right to change or add to the allegations as they see fit. (Emails are contained within the ‘evidence bundle’ presented to Tribunal).
MAG Board appoint Qdos Consulting an independent HR company in Leicestershire, to undertake the investigation and staff are invited for interview on 8th April.
General Secretary Mr Brown receives a recorded delivery letter stating that if he does not attend the grievance interview (that he requested!) it would be an act of gross misconduct and a disciplining offence.
Following investigation and interviews and evidence from all parties, Qdos upheld the staff grievances and made recommendations to MAG UK limited that:

1. That a restructure of MAG UK is undertaken and that all Directors elect are given full training in employment matters
2. That Mr Liversidge and Mr Walker no longer have responsibility for HR practice within MAG UK
3. That there is a clear strategy developed within the organisation from the bottom via the democratic forums. For this to be overseen by the National Committee and given to the Directors to instruct on the implementation of the strategy so that all staff have a clear agenda as to what the work is, with targeted delivery timescales

The MAG UK Board chooses to ignore these recommendations and Qdos is dismissed. A second HR consultancy is engaged to hear any matters arising from the investigation.

With grievance procedure ongoing for Mr Brown and in direct contravention of ACAS guidelines, the Board of MAG UK summon Mr Brown to a disciplinary meeting in the offices of Mr Liversidge, Castleford, Yorkshire. Mr Brown responds:

Letter from Nich Brown
Letter from Nich Brown

Resignation Letter
Paddy Tyson
Resignation Letter
Following MAG UK ltd’s refusal to enter any form of ACAS mediation, and Mr Liversidge’s juvenile and abusive communications with legal representatives, the Claimants attempt to save all sides time and money by applying to have the case struck out, as it has become clear that MAG UK has no chance of winning the case, having failed to produce any supporting evidence.

Application to Strike Out
Application to Strike Out

The first Birmingham Tribunal Hearing was abandoned after it transpired MAG had been incapable of preparing the Evidence Bundle and after the Tribunal heard evidence that witnesses for the claimants had been intimidated. MAG was warned that costs may be awarded against them if the unprofessional behaviour of their legal representative (Mr Liversidge) continued and he was ordered to desist from writing abusive emails to the claimant’s solicitor. The claimants were ordered to perform the duties preparing the Evidence Bundle that Mr Liversidge had proven himself incapable of doing.
A new company called MAG Membership Services Limited was set up to administer remaining staff HR functions and all membership administration.
In an email to VisorDown, the online magazine, Director Liversidge states the affair has meant MAG UK Limited can no longer attract donations so a new company had to be set up. Mr Liversidge states clearly that subscriptions to FEMA (Federation of European Motorcyclist Associations) are fully paid up and thus there are no arrears. This is contrary to the statement subsequently made to the Insolvency practitioner at the official meeting of Creditors, further calling into question Mr Liversidge’s credibility.

Email to VisorDown
Director Liverside
Email to VisorDown

A vote taken as to whether MAG UK should appeal against the Tribunal judgement and the room voted in favour of the appeal. For 112 – Against 86
In a fit of juvenility, the Board decided to officially change this company’s name to Nice Employer Limited having lost the employment case and having been chastised by both independent HR consultants and 2 employment judges for their behaviour and lack of employment law training.
​As the investigation into insolvency begins, Mr Brown sends information​ regarding wrongdoing by directors as requested by EH Solicitors Limited in Solihull.

Evidence of Wrongdoing
Evidence of Wrongdoing