If the employer cannot immediately tell who is wrong and who is not, then they should tread carefully when deciding on how to help you return to work, so that they are not seen to punish the other person in the process, or vice versa. So maybe they can try and change things around a bit to ensure you do not have any direct contact but without actually treating either of you detrimentally in the process.
In the disciplinary you will be able to provide whatever defences you believe are relevant to counter the allegations, including calling witnesses. You can appeal the outcome as well and a new independent manager will consider that. But as far as a decision by the employer is concerned to be able to justify that as being fair they would need to ensure they follow a fair procedure.
In order to justify that disciplinary action on grounds of misconduct was fair, the law requires that the employer:
· Conducts a reasonable investigation;
· Follows a fair disciplinary procedure; and
· Shows they had reasonable grounds to believe the employee was guilty.
In summary, an employer is not expected to prove that the alleged misconduct had definitely occurred. Disciplinary action will be fair if the employer can show that it had conducted a reasonable investigation, followed a fair procedure and held a genuine belief that the employee was guilty. Finally, it must show that the penalty was a reasonable action to take in the circumstances and one that a reasonable employer would have taken.
As mentioned, if there are any doubts about any of the above and there is belief or evidence that the employer has not satisfied these requirements, an appeal can be submitted to the employer immediately after the disciplinary outcome. If the disciplinary results in dismissal then a claim for unfair dismissal can be made in the employment tribunal. There are two requirements to claim: the employee must have at least 2 years' continuous service with the employer and the claim must be made within 3 months of the date of dismissal.
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