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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46183
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I am facing a disciplinary hearing that has taken 9 months

Resolved Question:

I am facing a disciplinary hearing that has taken 9 months to get to this stage.
Prior to the alleged offences of failing to follow policy and procedure, I was referred to Occupational Health and "Diagnosed" as suffering from work related stress, the company did not reduce my workload, rather increased it.
It took them 13 weeks to compile a report of which elements of witness statements were classified as derogatory or bore no relationship to the case, there was also no reference as to which jobs the allegation referred, a grievance was raised, where upon items were struck from the statements and reference no's inserted, another part was how biased the investigation was as no witness statements for the defence were taken, The grievance was upheld on the part of the statements, this was appealed as the full grievance was not satisfied, on attending the meeting which lasted 20mins it was decided that the original decision stood and that my Disciplinary hearing was set for a week later, including weekends on the 23 Dec, I requested all paperwork relating to the case and a copy of the investigation report, and defence witness statements, I am still awaiting.
What can I do
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: 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. How long have you worked there for and what specific queries do you have about this?
Customer:

I have worked there for nearly 8 years.

Customer:

Can the company firstly carry out a investigation and interview witnesses

Customer:

Secondly can they adjust the content of the statements without the witnesses knowledge

Customer:

Would the investigation be legal if only the negative side was addressed

Customer:

Can they withhold this report and not allow me to view it

Customer:

Hi Ben

Ben Jones :

Hi, sorry I was with other customers by the time you had replied

Customer:

No Problem

Ben Jones :

I am just going to get my response ready, won't be long

Ben Jones :

Can the company firstly carry out a investigation and interview witnesses

In a disciplinary matter, where someone is facing certain allegations, the employer has a duty to conduct a formal investigation to establish the nature of the issues and determine whether there is enough evidence to take the matter further and in the process gather the required evidence to bring a case forward. So yes, the employer is certainly able to investigate the issues and in fact are required by law to do so.

Secondly can they adjust the content of the statements without the witnesses knowledge

The employer cannot change the evidence itself, in a sense that what has been said must not be distorted so as not to bear a resemblance to the original evidence. Sometimes it is possible to remove irrelevant information from the evidence, especially if the investigation was detailed and it gathered evidence for issues which are either not linked to the current proceedings or just background information which has no relevance to the disciplinary at hand. However, the relevant evidence should be kept in its original form.

Would the investigation be legal if only the negative side was addressed

It would not be automatically illegal, after all if you are facing a disciplinary then you will be doing so because it is alleged you have done something wrong, so the employer would be looking at evidence of the wrongdoing, which inevitable would be the negative side. Just because there is a positive side to something does not mean that the negative does not exist and cannot be investigated and you disciplined for it.

Can they withhold this report and not allow me to view it

As you may have seen in the ACAS Code, the employer is required to provide you with any evidence they have against you prior to the disciplinary hearing so as to enable you to prepare a defence. If they are going to use this investigation report against you at the hearing then they must provide you with a copy in advance of the hearing.

Customer:

Thank you for clarifying those points, on the first question, a part of it was missed, I did supply a list of names to the investigating office as witnesses for the positive, they have still not approached these witnesses,

Customer:

Finally, as a no contact, with any work, colleague, Contractor etc was put into my suspension letter, how do I get this revoked to allow contact, as this could be detrimental to my defence

Customer:

And would it be unreasonable for me to ask for a rescheduled date to allow this evidence on my behalf to be gathered or witnesses called, I know there is a time restraint on this as I am to be TUPED on the 1st Feb 2015

Ben Jones :

Whilst you may have supplied names for the positive aspects, the employer would not be expected to interview every person on there especially if they consider that the evidence may not be directly related or irrelevant. For example you may have many people that would say positive things about you and your work but not be directly related to the issues at hand that are being investigated.

It is not uncommon to be denied contact with anyone from work whilst awaiting a disciplinary hearing, but if you need to speak to someone to prepare your defence then you will have to inform the employer first and ask for their permission to contact them, or they could do it on your behalf. Your defence should not be prejudiced by this.

The time taken to prepare a defence is not stipulated in law, all that the employer is required to give you is reasonable notice and that would depend on the nature and complexity of the allegations and evidence. If you believe that you have not been given reasonable time to prepare you may certainly try and ask for a delay in the hearing to allow you to prepare.

Customer:

Thank you

Ben Jones :

you are welcome

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I apologise for the bad service mark, it is incorrect.

Your service was of a high and helpful standard

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
No problem, thanks for letting me know - we can amend it at our end. All the best
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46183
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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