This course will provide an understanding of the legal and best practice requirements for conducting an investigation – how thorough does the investigation have to be, together with practical skills about how the investigation can best be carried out. At the end of this programme delegates will be able to understand all the steps which must be taken when conducting investigations and disciplinary hearings.
HR and Personnel Professionals, Operational and Line Managers, Employee Relations Advisors, Equality Advisors, in-house lawyers
It is increasingly important that an employer when facing a Tribunal case can illustrate that they have conducted a full and fair investigation into complaints about and by an employee.
- Disciplinary procedures: The purpose of disciplinary and appeals procedures; Procedures and the contract; Importance of following procedures; Statutory right to accompaniment; Importance of following every step in the procedure; Distinguishing between misconduct and gross misconduct; When to suspend and the suspension process
- Conducting an investigations - the general principles: The need for an investigation; Who should conduct the investigation?; The task; Investigation adapted to suit the circumstances; Sources of evidence; Adequacy of investigation; Balance of probabilities test; "Police style" cautioning during interviews; When to call in the police
- Conducting an investigation - the practice
Deciding whether disciplinary proceedings are appropriate
Defining the exact nature of the compliant and the facts to support it; Considering any mitigating circumstances; Coming to a conclusion - the balance of probabilities; When to take action; The options available; When action will definitely be necessary; The disciplinary hearing; Examining the evidence; Preparing for the hearing; Arranging the hearing; conducting the hearing; Making a decision- taking all the circumstances into account; Informing the employee; Content of written warnings and dismissal letters; Written records and data protection; Checklist; Right of appeal - principles and checklist;
Grievance: What is a grievance?; How to recognise a grievance; How to investigate a grievance; Common issues; Formal and informal procedures
Case studies & questions
- Practical preliminary issues: Sound preparation: Skills: Obtaining witness statements; Key points to cover in misconduct and capability situations; Asking open-ended questions to get to the facts; Who should be present?; Dealing with a disabled employee; Taking notes
- Preparing for the investigation: Establishing the general nature and background to the complaint; Making a denied list of all the relevant information required; Examining the worker's personal file and training record to gain an overall picture; Is the worker aware of his/her job description and the standards expected?; Is the worker aware of the disciplinary rules?; Checking the content and timing of previous warnings; Additional checks where incapability is involved. eg. quantifying performance shortfall