In cases of Harassment getting your Disciplinary Procedure right is essential to taking consistent action.
If during the investigation, it becomes apparent that the allegations of harassment are well founded, they should be dealt with in accordance with this procedure.
The 5 steps should include:
- Serious acts of harassment should be treated as gross misconduct
- It is important that the allegations set out in the invite to disciplinary letter are very clear to enable the employee to prepare his or her case. It will be insufficient to simply state “harassment is a breach of Company policy or procedures”
- The employee should be provided with copies of all evidence including witness statements or notes of investigation meetings
- Only where there is a genuine fear of reprisals should witness statements or investigation notes be anonymised.
- The employee should be aware of the possible outcomes of the disciplinary action. For example, if it is being treated as gross misconduct – a possible outcome of the hearing could be summary dismissal
If during your investigation into a case of Harassment it becomes apparent that there is no substance to the complaint – you need to meet with the complainant and explain in a sensitive way your findings.
You should confirm whether any further action is necessary, such as a ‘Clear The Air’ meeting or some sort of mediation.
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If you are currently managing a case of this nature and would like guidance from a Croner expert please call 0808 145 3490.