This is a course for managers who may be asked to conduct disciplinary investigations. It explains what makes a fair investigation – and why that matters. It also looks the process of investigating alleged misconduct and outlines a methodical approach that is both fair and effective.
Welcome and Introductions
- Setting objectives for the day
The Legal Background
- Unfair Dismissal – acting reasonably
- Natural justice
- The Acas Code of Practice
- When is an investigation needed?
- What is an investigation for?
- Defining the scope of the investigation
- Planning and timescales
- When is suspension appropriate?
- Alternatives to suspension
- Potential pitfalls
- Interviewing witnesses
- Reluctant witnesses
- Confidentiality and anonymity
- Hearsay, gossip and rumour
- Interviewing the employee – the right to be accompanied
- Recording interviews
- Preparing a witness statement or record of interview
Documentary and physical evidence
- Gathering documents and other evidence
- Privacy and data protection
- Evidence from social media
- Covert evidence – CCTV footage and recorded conversations
Putting together a report
- What is the purpose of the investigation report?
- Key elements of a report
- How long should it be?
- Framing your conclusions
- What can go wrong?
Handling difficult issues
- Dealing with stress-related absence
- Grievances raised during investigation
- Criminal allegations –when to involve the police
- Safeguarding investigations
Preparing for Tribunal
- What a Tribunal wants to know about an investigation
- Preparing your own witness statement
- Giving evidence in a Tribunal
Final Questions and Round-up