Charles River Laboratories
Happiness score is 44 out of 100
3.2 out of 5 stars.
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United Kingdom46 reviews

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3.1Work-life balance

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Cleaning job very stressful Not flexible for cleaners cover different areas all the time money not bad could be a lot better hours are not bad mon to fri
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No care for employees struggling during COVID. Poor management. Lack of empathy and long term employee investment. Low level employees were nice however.
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Insights into Charles River Laboratories

Based on 11 survey responses
Areas for improvement
  • Support from manager
  • Sense of belonging
  • Energising work tasks

Overworked and under appreciated

Volume of work is very high and the pay does not reflect the work analysts do. The company likes to say they care and are listening but the analysts are overworked and not paid accordingly, without them producing data the company fails, but they are not treated fairly.
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Sample prep technician

Good people and culture, able to learn other techniques if you wanted to. Was busy but we handled it. But pay was way to low compared to other covid labs.
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Not worth the stress or hours

Work load is excessive a lot of over time required with no paise or appreciation for you time or effort. Never hear anything good about the work load you have completed it’s always not quite good enough.Unrealistic targets/goals expected. Work load over booked with not enough staff or hours. Surprise overtime e.g will finish at 7pm with no prior warning. Shocking staff turnover. Not a lot of room for progression. Very big personalities loud and busy rooms. HR not understanding/ no sympathy for mental health. Work life balance is non existent. Will be criticised for not doing enough overtime this also affects your progression. Work can be given to you 5 mins before your finishing time however you cannot leave site until work is completed meaning you WILL be staying late. Holidays more or less have to be booked 1 year in advance or not guarantee will most likely have to carry holidays over to following year.
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Has damaging effects on mental health.

It gets abit draining day in, day out. The company/departments have there favourites so if the face doesn’t fit well, you will constantly feel uncomfortable. The expected overtime is exhausting never mind the surprise over time you have to do before the stuff you volunteer for. They care about how big there work load is rather than their employees well being. Also the canteen is disgustingly expensive.
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Overall an excellent job

Loved the job, loved the staff I worked with. Money was good, overtime was always available if wanted. I was always paid correctly.People seemed to love to complain about how unhappy they were which made it a bit taxing sometimes but in the area I worked in there was a low turnover rate and most of the staff had been there 8+ years so surely it wasn't that bad.Some of the upper management were quite unlikeable but I rarely had to deal with them directly so it wasn't a big deal.Overall I was very happy and I left to pursue other avenues and I would have no qualms about reapplying should I ever want to.


Good pay, job security, availability of overtime


Compulsory quarterly meetings
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Animal house is weekends and long hours

The animal house is demanding with long hours and many weekends. Be prepared to work hard and the money isn’t great but if you enjoy working with animals and want to make a difference in drug development it’s a good place to start.
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Avoid horrible place to work

Charles River, is an absolute joke of a place to work. people get dismissed for no reason. if your face doesn’t fit then they make your life a misery. AVOID AVOID




Horrible staff
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Loved my job, but its a problematic company

The days weren't too long but could be very hectic, as there is a lack of staff due to high turnover and low intake rate. The supervisors in my unit were lovely, but the higher-level management were not always as nice to deal with. A lot of the staff were out of touch in regards to inclusivity and disability. There was a lot of toxicity in the unit and especially during the summer months, there was minimal room for progression and training because there wasn't time. The job with the animals themselves was everything though because they were fantastic to work with and give time to.


Animals, interesting work


Expected to work 12 days in a row, minimal time off, toxic atmosphere, discriminatory management
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Don't do it to yourself

Extremely traditional and backwards company. Outdated processes. A lot of management have been there for years which in turn means there isn't that much diversity or new ideas or room for growth or development. The good people come and leave very quickly. They are pretty much East Lothians only large scale employer and provide opportunities for people within the community who wouldn't want to commute or have stepped foot outside of Tranent before however they exploit this by underpaying (lets be honest - the real living wage is not a living wage at all). It also means those in power at Charles River Tranent have pretty much next to no experience of any other kind of commercial business or industry. They are a big fish in a very small pond and it shows.There are certain members of HR I would not go near with a barge pole. They are not there to support you or do best for you. They are there to protect the business (and themselves) and that is it. The fact one member of their team has had several complaints and grievances made against them but nothing happens says it all really. For graduates it is a good stepping stone for your first 5 years however there is a glass ceiling and I would recommend using them for your first 2 years of experience and then running for the hills as fast as you can before you are sucked in and part of the misery. You will be paid a lot better elsewhere.


free parking


long hours, corrupt HR, lengthy interview process, horrendous recruitment process with a severe lack of communication, lack of progression, outdated views and processes
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animal technician assistant!...stay clear! horrible place to work in

terrible place to work in don't care about there staff helf and safety is poor!have there own favourite in there need HR to do there dirty work!! for them. Management getting paid to do nothing!! dont interact with there staff or less your the golden one witch there is in there. no team work!! always back stabbing each other!! constant online stuff is nothing but a headache some of it is pointless!!its like a young boot camp collage in there!! stay clear you have been warned!! horrible place!! not worth the stress!!




hard work no team work!! rubbish pay!! stress!!
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Not too bad

Anyone looking to start as an assistant animal tech and working your way up, it’s alot more hard work than you’d ever think it was and sometimes you can be expected too much off, it can feel like it’s the same thing Day in day out so can get abit boring, working with the same people every week it bones for like a little family you build.


Good pay, not an issue when taking holidays


Feel like your constantly at work with all the overtime etc abit over worked.
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Toxic, non progressive environment.

HR director and other Senior Management let it down as they offered as little flexibility as possible to staff. Culture of oppression and strict hierarchy oppressed ideas, innovation, morale and productivity of staff. Nice people worked there but their outlook and morale flattened and twisted, beaten down by unnecessary humiliation and oppression.
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Lot to be done to help company improve. Need more organisation Better structure and time management Better kit required to complete work Nice people Very helpful Opportunity to learn
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They treat everyone with potential here. I regretted having to leave. The work is both interesting and enjoyable if you put the effort in you can reap the rewards
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Loads of opportunities for advancements

Good job security but due to intensive work load the work /home balance was not great. Loads of opportunity for job advancement if driven. Great team but sometimes stress caused tension.
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just plain cruel

awful place, cruel and not for me. nice to get home and see my lovely pets. manager is overweight, loud and not nice, hours are long and tiring, pay is bad
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Nice people, low pay

The people here are nice but the is an atmosphere of despair, where the ethos is being lucky to have a job. Which is a shame because the people are better than that. Also the salary’s are below anywhere else.
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Productive and Challenging

Good company for those looking for work straight out of university with ample opportunity for advancement for graduates. Training opportunities are fairly good, with quite inclusive workplace culture, also opportunities to get involved in charity work in community. Salary does not reflect role worked.
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Progressive company

Progressive company with lots of good benefits (free food days, gifts at christmas/easter, salary review and small bonus each year) however, expect extremely high workload and majority of upper management very old school and not willing to change with the times.
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Overall rating

Based on 811 reviews

Ratings by category

3.1 out of 5 stars for Work/Life Balance
3.4 out of 5 stars for Salary/Benefits
3.0 out of 5 stars for Job security/advancement
2.8 out of 5 stars for Management
3.0 out of 5 stars for Culture

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