Responding to disciplinary allegations can be daunting. Read on for some practical guidance, along with feedback from a client I recently assisted with their disciplinary hearing…
As I mentioned above, I recently assisted a client with a disciplinary issue where she faced serious allegations of Gross Misconduct. My client denied any wrongdoing. However, if the allegations were found proven by her employer, she would have been dismissed without any notice pay.
My client came to see me just after her employer had concluded the investigation stage of their disciplinary process and on the face of it, the evidence against her was very damning. However, on closer review I noticed that many of my client’s responses had not been considered, explanations were not followed up, and there were significant breaches of confidentiality between witnesses. If my client did not correct these problems, I was very concerned she would be dismissed without any notice pay.
I advised my client that to put herself in the best possible position she needed to prepare a detailed statement to submit to her disciplinary hearing. It was important that this was put in writing because I could see that during interviews, her comments were overlooked and often ignored. A written statement would then serve two purposes. It would ensure my client did not forget to say anything important (if her nerves got the better of her), and it would stand as written evidence her submissions were made. I explained the statement should include:
- Confirmation of what she believed the allegations to be. This might sound obvious, but it was not clear until we carefully scrutinised her employer’s investigation report what allegations were proceeding. Just going through this process enabled my client to narrow the issues and provide a more concentrated and detailed response to the allegations that remained.
- A factual response to the allegations that were being pursued. Quite often during a disciplinary hearing tensions or anxieties can creep in and important facts can be forgotten. Putting on record a factual response in a statement is really useful, and I advised that this was broken down allegation, by allegation.
- An assessment of evidence. This was very important in this case because evidence provided by witnesses was contradictory and made little sense. An assessment highlighting this was crucial. It is also a useful tactic to highlight positive evidence which was in support of my client.
- A section detailing any mitigating factors. In my client’s particular case there was a lot of mitigating information. My client had really long service with her employer, she had an exemplary disciplinary record, many of the allegations were taken out of context and she could show she was being treated inconsistently to other colleagues.
My Client’s Comments
My client used my guidance and was able to retain her employment. I was pleased to receive the following feedback:-
“Once again, thank you for your support in this matter and I would have no hesitation in recommending you or your company in the future….
Your advice was invaluable in helping me ….”
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors Can Help You
If you are going through a disciplinary process at work and need support do not hesitate to contact us for an initial free consultation on 01522 440512.
Alternatively, if you would like more information about disciplinary processes and how to respond, visit https://lincslaw.co.uk/services/employees/workplace-problems/defending-disciplinary-allegations/
Specialist Employment Law Solicitor
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors
Tags: defending a disciplinary defending disciplinary allegations disciplinary allegations disciplinary hearing disciplinary statement employment law solicitor lincoln Gross Misconduct sophie goodwill unfair dismissal