Controversial lingerie brand Honey Birdette has come under fire yet again, this time for a TikTok video that appears to show a staff member changing a retail store lightbulb on their own despite WHS standards.
Anonymous TikTok account @still.not.your.honey posted a video last week depicting what appears to be a Honey Birdette store manager teaching staff how to change a lightbulb themselves. The video claims this was done to cut costs of hiring a professional.
“So what you need to do is just twist the fitting and it will fall out like that,” the woman in the video says while she unplugs a live lightbulb and exposes herself to electrical wiring from the ceiling.
“These are all rubber and plastic so you cannot get electrocuted but please be careful.”
She then replaces the lightbulb and plugs it back in, with @still.not.your.honey noting that the power is still on as she does this. Yikes.
Comments on the video displayed outrage at the idea that retail staff should change lightbulbs themselves, since in retail settings this is typically done be someone with the relevant licence or qualification, to avoid workplace safety incidents. Especially if it is not within the contract of sales assistants to perform electrical work.
“People don’t realise honey birdette (sic) is like Victoria’s Secret and these are customer service staff not electricians,” one commenter wrote.
“Big difference between a domestic and commercial. commercial (sic) should always have contractors, particularly due to ohs and work safe and liability,” another said.
Others made jokes about potential work insurance claims, with one TikToker writing: “They won’t be saving money when worksafe gets onto them lol.”
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The TikTok account behind the video has since shared others criticising the workplace, including screenshots of the Honey Birdette staff manual.
One video shows a screenshot which states ‘Honeys’ must wear high heels during the ‘peak period’ of their shift — which turns out to be almost the whole day, since peak is defined as 11am to close, and also after-hours shifts of 6pm-9pm during late night shopping.
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Another shows the very long and specific uniform guide for staff, which includes mandates of red lipstick and maintained regrowth.
A recent video shares an old news clip of a Honey Birdette staff member posing in lingerie as founder Eloise Monaghan encourages male customers to compare the body types of staff to their partners.
The TikTok account slammed this as ‘objectifying’ team members, while viewers commented shock that the clip made it to the news.
This is not the first time Honey Birdette has come under fire for alleged mistreatment of staff, with ex-employees protesting the company’s ‘sexist’ working conditions in 2016.
UPDATE 4/01/22: Honey Birdette chief Julie Hastings said some of her staff had been bullied on social media over content posted to the Tik Tok account.
“After multiple pieces of our content were shared by an account on Tik Tok, we have had staff members receive threatening messages online,” she said.
Ms Hastings said Honey Birdette had always co-operated with workplace health and safety authorities whenever concerns were raised.
“If they’ve ever alerted us that our systems need improving, we’ve acted immediately to rectify the issue,” she said. “Rather than using social media, if at any time our Honeys have concerns, we welcome them to raise them with us to be handled in an appropriate manner.”