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Investigations - Right to Representation?

Investigations Right to Representation

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There seems to be some conflicting advice out there in relation to conducting investigations.

At present as a company we inform the employee in advance of their requirement to attend an investigation meeting giving a minimum of 3 days notice, and offer them right to representation. We make it clear in the letter that it is just an investigation meeting and that it is not a disciplinary hearing.

Is this the correct process? The new ACAS guidelines don't seem to support this, but I'm nervous about not offering representation in meetings such as this as it is often of some comfort to the employee to have someone with them.

I would be interested to know what everyone else does in this situation.

Thanks

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By jstutt
30th Jun 2009 13:20

Hi Kansel

I'm with you - we too offer the opportunity for representation at investigatory meetings. ACAS does not require it, and neither did the SDP, but our view is, why not? As you say, it gives comfort to the employee, supports our approach as a reasonable and fair employer and if you have decent Union reps (as we do) then it fosters good relations with the representatives. Plus, if you are conducting everything as you should, then there's no reason to be relunctant about a representative or another employee being part of the proceedings.

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By peterstanway
01st Jul 2009 07:00

The Original ACAS draft aid that this was good practice.I (along with others) pointed out that not doing it implies bad practice. the code (probably in the guidelines )now has some much weaker words like may consider
if you work in a unionised enironment then you are stuck with it otherwise it is better to have some flexibility especially if something can be sorted out quickly and informally without undue delay

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By DeborahM
02nd Jul 2009 17:17

Hi Kansel
I worked in a non unionised environment for 27 years, we only allowed representation at investigation meetings in rare circumstances, under 18, learning disabilities etc, there is no legal need for you to offer this but I do agree with the other points, what do you have to hide? but ultimatley it is your choice and not a requirement of any code or legislation.
Deborah

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