Disciplinary Investigations for Employers

Properly handled investigations before a disciplinary process is implemented are essential.

Importance of a reasonable disciplinary investigation 

If unfair dismissal claim is brought by an employee sacked for misconduct in your business, you will need to show that you have undertaken a reasonable investigation into the incident to successfully defend the claim.

An investigation prior to any disciplinary action is key and in most cases failure to investigate will fall foul of the ACAS Code of Practice and result in the finding of unfair dismissal.  This is the case even if the employee admits guilt because the investigation might find that there are mitigating circumstances.

In an unfair dismissal case, an employer must hold an investigation which is reasonable in all the circumstances and falls within the band of reasonable responses. 

This does not mean that the employer has to extensively investigate each line of defence although the more serious the allegation and / or the consequences of the disciplinary process for the employee the more thorough investigation that is required.

How George Green LLP can assist with disciplinary investigations

Our team of lawyers and HR professionals can work with you and your team to co-ordinate the investigations.  We can be based on your site and help your managers conduct the whole process from collecting information to interviewing witnesses.  Alternatively we can act as advisors to the team.

We can review the scenario with you and suggest questions and lines of enquiry, help prepare the investigation report and consider with you whether there is a need to then implement the disciplinary procedure.