Raoul Parekh, partner at GQ|Littler, pointed to the lessons of the inquiry for HR elsewhere. He said: “Sue Gray’s report into workplace misconduct has much higher stakes than most disciplinary investigations, but there are some parallels for employers.
“In particular, police investigations often overlap with employers’ investigations. This can leave employers with a difficult choice, as criminal processes can take years to complete, but an employer who suspects their employee of criminal conduct in the workplace will not want to let the issue lie.
“Luckily, the Acas Guide to Discipline and Grievances at Work provides some help for employers, as it states that employers ‘need not await the outcome of the criminal prosecution before taking fair and reasonable action’. The guide also says that employers can still take action where criminal charges lead to employees refusing to co-operate with investigations.”
Parekh continued: “None of this exactly applies to Sue Gray’s report, since most employers don’t face daily calls from politicians and the media to publish their findings in full. But employers who find themselves overlapping with police matters shouldn’t be persuaded to simply step back: they can still take action where required.”
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