Disciplinary or Grievance Investigations
From time to time even the best of employers has to deal with grievances raised by members of their staff or with possible disciplinary action against an employee. You will be well aware of the importance of handling these matters with care both for ‘best practice’ reasons and because they can sometimes be the start of claims to the Employment Tribunal.
In each case, if the problem cannot be resolved informally, the starting point is for there to be an investigation, and this will be the cornerstone of any defence to a legal claim. Where the issues are complex or the personalities involved are difficult, the investigation can be time consuming and challenging for an insider to take on. In these circumstances it is often helpful to make use of an independent external investigator who can provide the internal decision maker with a detailed report pulling together the available documentary and witness evidence, drawing initial factual conclusions and identifying clearly the remaining issues to be decided.
One such person who is well known to us here at Blocks is Dilys Lloyd. Dilys spent almost 20 years as a partner in the employment law team of at a national law firm. She left full time lawyering behind her in 2009 since when she has combined a consultancy arrangement at Blocks for legal work with her freelance work applying her extensive knowledge and experience to provide a variety of services relating to workplace issues, including undertaking investigations.
Recent examples have been:
- Investigation into cross grievances between a senior manager and one of his direct reports each alleging physical intimidation by the other;
- Disciplinary investigation into alleged gross misconduct by a Managing Director including allegations of fraud;
- Investigation into multiple Grievances raised against senior manager in Community Health Trust by his direct reports;
- Review of procedure followed in dealing with grievances raised by probation officer where each stage of grievance sparked allegations of procedural unfairness.
So, if you think you may need to commission an external investigator, Frances Barker will be happy to introduce you to Dilys Lloyd, who will have a preliminary telephone discussion with you, free of charge to scope out your needs and the likely cost.