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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48156
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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A colleague at my university has subjected me to a formal complaint.

Resolved Question:

A colleague at my university has subjected me to a formal complaint. I consider that complaint as vexatious and unfounded. The case for the complaint has not been disclosed to me, despite my request, but an informal meeting with the Head of School and Human Resources has been scheduled. Do I have a right to know in advance of that meeting what the allegations against me are, and what is the legal basis of that right? Can I refuse to attend the meeting if the case is not disclosed to me in advance?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones : Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Is this simply an investigatory meeting?
Customer:

Hi, Ben, Thanks. It is still an Informal Resolution process but I am told that a formal grievance has been submitted:

Customer:

Hi, Ben, Thanks. It is still an Informal Resolution process but I am told that a formal grievance has been submitted. My concern is with procedural fairness. I consider submitting a counter-complaint

Customer:

Hi, Ben, Thanks. It is still an Informal Resolution process but I am told that a formal grievance has been submitted. My concern is with procedural fairness. I just don't want to walk into a meeting without knowing exactly what is being alleged against me. I have requested disclosure of the case; the HoS has agreed--but there is just nothing happening (the complainant seems to withhold permission). So, in essence, can I insist on a procedural right (to know the allegations in advance, as a matter of procedural fairness) by issuing a threat to refuse not to attend untll the exact allegations being disclosed?

Ben Jones :

At such an early stage you do not really have the right to request many details and all the employer can say is that it is to do with a complaint and provide brief details of that. You are still considered innocent and no formal action can be taken against you at that meeting. It is just an opportunity by the employee to investigate the allegations and get you side of the story and then decide whether to take the matter further. If they eventually decide this is necessary they could instigate formal disciplinary proceedings against you – that is when you have the legal right to be given full details of any allegations against you, together with evidence, to enable you to formally prepare a defence before attending a formal hearing. However, this is not such a meeting and you cannot expect full details prior to attending. Also if you were to refuse to attend it could amount to insubordination and that in itself could amount to misconduct so it is not advisable.

Ben Jones :

I hope this clarifies your position? If you could please quickly let me know that would be great, as it is important for us to keep track of customer satisfaction. Thank you

Customer:

Thanks. This helps for the time being.

Ben Jones :

you are welcome, all the best

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