Holgate hr
HR & Development Services

A valuable lesson when carrying out grievance investigations

A recent case at Tribunal serves as a useful reminder for employers to carry out detailed and thorough investigations and to leave 'no stone unturned'.
Leeds Employment Tribunal found a hospital acted in ‘bad faith’ by failing to investigate complaints made by a security guard, who was unfairly dismissed after lodging a grievance with his employer.

The tribunal concluded the employer failed to properly investigate issues he raised as a workplace dispute which escalated into a collective grievance.

The employer had instructed an independent HR consultant to investigate the grievance, but, rather interestingly, the judge found the consultant had not investigated the grievance sufficiently.  The HR consultant’s report to the employer cited provisions in the Grievance and dispute policy and Acceptable behaviour at work policy suggesting that where grievances or complaints were found to have been made maliciously or in bad faith this would be treated as potential gross misconduct.   The hospital trust then instigated a disciplinary hearing, which the tribunal also found to be flawed, and the individual was dismissed with immediate effect.

The Judge awarded the ex-employee £10,990 for his unfair dismissal.

We highlight this as the decision serves as a useful reminder of how a tribunal will examine every aspect of the dismissal/grievance processes to find out what took place.

If you are carrying out any investigations we would be happy to talk you through the process and give you some free guidance to ensure the process is fair and protects all parties involved.

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