Rajveer is a Solicitor who works in the Employment team.
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Do you need to hold an investigation hearing before holding a disciplinary hearing?
It was held in Sunshine Hotel v Goddard that the requirement to hold an investigation meeting is not a basic employment right. As a result, a separate investigation meeting may not always be required before holding a disciplinary hearing in order for a dismissal to be fair.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) referred to the ACAS code which states:
The EAT also mentioned the case of ILEA v Gravett. Wood J stated in this case:
The EAT stated that it is clear that neither the ACAS code nor the guidance in ILEA v Gravett nor section 98 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 make it a basic employment right that an investigation hearing is required in every case separate to a disciplinary hearing. However, an investigation into the allegations will always be needed and, in most cases, this will still mean having an investigation meeting with the employee.
Also, employers should be mindful of any collective agreements in place or their own disciplinary policy which may state that a separate investigatory meeting is required. If you fail to comply with your own policy, then the dismissal is likely to be unfair.