Marks & Spencer has dismissed claims that it creates a "culture of fear" in the workplace by spying on staff.

At a press conference in Brighton yesterday (7 September), former M&S customer loyalty manager Tony Goode said that staff were afraid to speak out against the UK retailer because they are constantly monitored.

Goode was dismissed after he leaked plans to restructure redundancy payouts to The Times. He said that he informed the press of M&S's intentions because objections he had raised internally had been ignored.

The GMB union, which has taken on Goode's case, said that M&S had given reporters details of phone calls made by Goode, even though he claims to have made these on his personal cellular phone.

Speaking to just-food, a spokesperson for M&S dismissed these accusations as "utter nonsense".

In a statement released last week, M&S said: "We are astonished by the actions and allegations the GMB has made about the dismissal of one of our employees. Despite claims that they plan to appeal on behalf of the individual, the GMB seems more concerned about conducting the case through the media to gain publicity for their own ends."