- Calming Ourselves for What Lies Ahead
- Give Yourself Time to Reflect
- Why Don’t We Ask for and Accept Help from Colleagues?
- How to Discuss Mental Health with an Employee
- Hey! We’re going to Barbados!
- How to Work (and Sleep!) in Hot Weather
- Will You Please Take Notice!!
- Determining the Date of Termination
- Dealing with Smelly Workers
- How to Tackle Difficult Conversations Virtually
- How to Manage an Emotionally Needy Team Member
- Redundancy and Furlough - Part 2
- Redundancy and Furlough - Part 1
- Flexible Furlough
- Back to Work
- Build Your Resilience
- The Overweight Elephant in the Room
- Contractual Skulduggery and TUPE
- Zoom Gloom
- How to Support Employees’ Mental Health During Lockdown
- Obesity, Covid-19 and Business
- Flexible Working Request – Making a Decision
- Supermarket Not Liable for Disgruntled Employee’s Data Breach
- Coronavirus – The Need to Adapt
- Furlough Leave More FAQs
- Furlough Leave Creates Alternative to Lay-Off
- Buying Time – Alternative to Redundancies
- HR in the Time of Coronavirus
- Music at Work
- Snowed Under – Getting to Work in Bad Weather
Employment Law Update – What’s The Difference Between An Investigation And A Discipline Meeting?
Tackling workplace investigations is an essential skill for managers. If you’re dealing with a conduct matter (i.e. where an employee won’t meet your reasonable management standards) you are expected to carry out an investigation to establish the facts.
If the facts suggest that there is a case to answer, you can then arrange for it to be explored formally in a formal disciplinary meeting. Just a note on the ‘facts’. Managers often talk very vaguely about ‘bad attitude’, ‘poor performance’ and so forth.
You couldn't hang a dog on that, far less mount a formal disciplinary process. So ask yourself ‘what do I mean by ‘bad attitude?’ What actually happened to cause a person to reach that conclusion? We would need to know what Joe said or did to determine whether there is unacceptable misconduct.
The investigation meeting is not part of the formal disciplinary process and therefore there is no right to be accompanied, though this point is often bitterly argued. It can be helpful to include a sentence in your disciplinary procedure which makes this quite clear. The purpose of an investigation is a fact fine; no more.
The investigating officer must ensure that he carries out an investigation which looks at all the facts holistically. It should not just look for evidence of guilt, but evidence which may explain the issue and evidence of innocence.
Sometimes it takes two or three reviews of the facts to gather enough evidence to decide whether or not there’s a case to answer. There’s been a rash of cases recently which have clearly showed that an inadequate investigation can lead to a finding of unfair dismissal.
We train managers and HR professionals to carry out effective workplace investigations all the time, so if you need a helping hand, give us a call.
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