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My employer says that they are conducting a fact-finding exercise into alleged misconduct under the disciplinary rules. What should I do?
Finding out the relevant facts is an important responsibility for any employer before interviewing an employee about any alleged misconduct. Employees should be made aware of any complaint against them and given copies of any relevant evidence, before any disciplinary hearing takes place, in enough time so that they can adequately prepare.
They do not have a right to be accompanied to an investigatory meeting unless:
- this has been negotiated by a union through a collective agreement or is otherwise included in the disciplinary procedure;
- they have a contractual right: or
- as a reasonable adjustment for a disabled worker.
If an investigatory meeting appears to be turning into a disciplinary meeting, it should be adjourned and the worker should be given the opportunity to arrange to be accompanied.
Whoever is in charge of conducting the investigation should be a different person from the one who hears the disciplinary.
Ask for a copy of the disciplinary rules and speak to your trade union rep if you have one.