5 Disciplinary Procedure Essentials for Cases of Harassment

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04 Feb 2018

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Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for harassment problems to emerge in a workplace. Harassment investigation services can set out on a fact-finding mission to collect the available information about an incident. It’s important to remember an investigator is provided with guidance on a respective incident. You should also detail how their subsequent findings should be reported to the business. Investigators are expected to research the incident and document the incident, examine all the available evidence, but avoid becoming involved in any incident they are investigating.

Important steps

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for harassment problems to emerge in a workplace. Harassment investigation services can set out on a fact-finding mission to collect the available information about an incident. It’s important to remember an investigator is provided with guidance on a respective incident. You should also detail how their subsequent findings should be reported to the business. Investigators are expected to research the incident and document the incident, examine all the available evidence, but avoid becoming involved in any incident they are investigating.

The 5 steps should include:

  1. Serious acts of harassment should be treated as gross misconduct
  2. 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”
  3. The employee should be provided with copies of all evidence including witness statements or notes of investigation meetings
  4. Only where there is a genuine fear of reprisals should witness statements or investigation notes be anonymised.
  5. 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 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. To read our expert’s 7 Steps for Managing Harassment in the Workplace please visit here.

We can help

With unrivalled experience in the industry, Croner’s Employment Law advisors are some of the most renowned and knowledgeable professionals in their respective fields. If you are currently managing a case of this nature and would like guidance from a Croner expert please call 0808 145 3380.

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