HR Advisor
ACC Liverpool
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Withholding witness statements from the agrieved.

Withholding witness statements from the agrieve...

We have just concluded a very sensitive and long investigation into an employees Grievance against their Line Manager.

No we are going to arrange a grievance resolution meeting at which the employee will be informed of the outcome of the investigation. We know we have to send our report and witness statements to the employee in advance of that meeting.

However we are concerned that by issuing certain witness statements we may be putting a specific witness at risk harassment or retaliation from those involved in the grievance. This person is already in a fragile mental state as a result of the investigation.

Would this be reasonable grounds to withhold their statement from the bundle that we issue to the aggrieved employee prior to the grievance resolution meeting?



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19th Aug 2007 12:12

I am not sure how you think anonymity can be maintained as in most cases it is extremely obvious.
Forgetting about DPA nonsense the case law says you need really strong grounds to be concerned about physical retribution from colleagues. I suspect the issue is different for managers who need to be warned about retaliation/victimisation and monitorred

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16th Aug 2007 18:43


I think the issue is broader than you envisage. You also have to take into account the Data Protection Act 1998. The employee could request said data under this Act and you'd have to supply a certain amount of it anyway.

One for the legal boffins.

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By Anonymous
22nd Aug 2007 15:49

The suggestion that you would be required to present the information if requested under the Data Proctection Act is a misunderstanding of the requirements of the Act.

Firstly data can be withheld if it refers to third party.

Additionally only manual data that is filed in a relevant filing system is covered by the Data Protection Act any other files are not covered. A strong case could be made that any invesigation notes and witness statement were not in a relevant filing system.

I have been in a similar position before and the advise we got was got extract the basic information from the witness statement so that the individual could not identify the individual that had made the statement.

It was only when it went to Tribunal were we legally required to hand over the unedited document. But due to the employee's previous behaviour we did issue a letter from our solicitors warning that we would take legal action if he approached or made threats to anyone involved in the case.

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