Let’s start the New Year on a ‘sober’ note by talking ‘Unfair Dismissal’.
Both Employers and Employees need to know that there is NO legal requirement for an Employer to hold an investigatory meeting BEFORE moving forward to a Disciplinary Hearing, in order for any subsequent dismissal to be ‘fair’, The Employment Rights Act 1996 simply requires an employer to ‘act reasonably’.
The ‘Investigatory’ stage could therefore be the collation of any evidence by the Employer to use at any disciplinary hearing – it does not have to include an ‘Investigatory’ meeting with the Employee.
It would be considered ‘unusual’ these days for an Employer to be considered as acting ‘unreasonably’ by only holding one meeting – as long, of course, as the Employee has been given full details of the allegations against them.
Of course, the Employee has the Appeal route to go down to give them a second chance to explain their case. However, all this does come with a caveat.
If, as an Employer, you have any doubts AT ALL as to what has gone on in this scenario before you – i.e. the evidence is not exactly slapping you in the face like a wet fish – then it would only be right for any Employer to carry out necessary investigations without reasonable delay to ascertain what has really gone on.