Managers must carry out necessary, reasonable and fair investigations of all potential disciplinary matters. They must establish the facts of the case without any unreasonable delay. There may be a need for a formal investigation before a disciplinary hearing.
Managers will undertake enquiries before they commission a formal investigation. They will talk to all employees involved to see if there is a need for a formal investigation.
Managers will not need a formal investigation when:
- there is clear evidence to support that the act of misconduct occurred
- it is unlikely it will uncover further evidence or acts of misconduct
Human Resources (HR) can offer advice on the level of investigation required.
Managers must report allegations of fraud to the counter fraud and investigations team. They must do this before any investigation begins. This team will work with HR to determine the appropriate next steps. This is in line with our counter fraud policy and our whistleblowing policy.
Before an employer investigation, we will appoint an independent investigating manager. They will carry out the investigation as soon as practical. We have the right to appoint an external investigator where:
- the issue is complex or serious
- an external perspective would be of value
The investigating manager will maintain a record of all related meetings. They will collate witness statements, where appropriate. They may refer to them in a disciplinary hearing.
We may take disciplinary action if an interviewee:
- provides deliberately false information, or
- discusses the issue outside of the process
The investigating manager will prepare a report for the disciplining manager who will then determine whether to convene a formal disciplinary hearing.
Managers may decide not to follow any further formal steps. Employees may need to make some improvements or changes. Managers may record these as a management action on a Record of Action form. They will discuss and issue these to employees. These will remain as a record for a period of six months.
Employees may ask to be accompanied to investigation meetings by:
- a work colleague
- trade union representatives or officials
Employees are responsible for making arrangements to be accompanied. It must not cause a delay. There is no statutory right for employees to be accompanied to investigatory meetings.