Very often we find that Employment Tribunals criticise employers for failing to properly investigate matters relating to alleged employee wrong doing /misconduct (disciplinary investigations) and employee complaints (grievance investigations). The implications for failing to properly and fairly investigate these matters are very serious and can lead to findings against employers in claims such as Unfair Dismissal, Constructive Dismissal, Discrimination and Disciplinary and Grievance issues.
- The importance of carrying out proper and thorough investigations has been confirmed by case law and a failure in this regard is likely to lead to a Judgment against an employer.
- The ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures confirms that employers should carry out necessary investigations and provides further guidance including key tips such as avoiding any unnecessary delay, proper collation of evidence, wherever possible making sure different people carry out the investigation hearing and subsequent disciplinary meeting.
- Following on from point b) above, the Employment Tribunal may increase an award to an employee by up to 25% where it is found that the employer has failed to comply with the ACAS Code. Likewise, where an employee has failed to comply with the Code their award could be reduced by as much as 25%.
- Many contracts of employment require investigations – always check and make sure you are acting in accordance with agreed procedures.
- There is an implied term in all contracts of employment that employees grievances will be dealt with fairly. A thorough investigation will support this.
Ringrose Law have staff with the necessary experience to carry out disciplinary and grievance investigations. The benefit to the employer of appointing Ringrose Law is the guarantee that the investigation will be carried out by an experienced employment lawyer who is fully aware of the legal requirements. In addition, we are able to offer a swift service to avoid any unreasonable delays. Finally, the appointment of an external law firm means that our employer clients are able to deal objectively with any subsequent disciplinary or grievance procedures without any allegations of bias being raised.
If your business is considering disciplinary action or has received a grievance, please do not hesitate to contact your nearest Ringrose Law Office. We have offices in Boston, Sleaford, Grantham, Newark, Lincoln or Spalding and ask for a member of the Employment Law Team.