You are currently taking disciplinary action against an employee, but she has raised a grievance that she was being bullied by the person making the allegations. How should you handle this? Our legal expert gives advice.
It is not uncommon for a grievance to be raised in the course of disciplinary action and under the ACAS Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance matters you are required to deal with both processes reasonably and fairly.
Where the grievance is linked to the reason for the disciplinary action, as it is in this case, then best practice is to temporarily suspend the disciplinary process to deal with the grievance, only continuing with the disciplinary process once the internal grievance (including the appeal) has been exhausted.
This will slow the process down, but avoids the disciplinary and grievance issues being too intertwined and allows the grievance to be independently looked out.
It would only be in limited circumstances, such as where a grievance is unrelated to the disciplinary action, that it would be fair to conclude the disciplinary process before dealing with the grievance.
Alison Graham is a healthcare employment lawyer at Veale Wasbrough VizardsAlison Graham is a healthcare employment lawyer at Veale Wasbrough Vizards