We would like to place strictly necessary cookies and performance cookies on your computer to improve our website service.
To find out more about how we use cookies and how you can change your cookies settings, please read our  cookies statement.                
Otherwise, we'll assume you are OK to continue.   Please close this message

What is the limit of HR’s role in a disciplinary investigation?

1 October 2015

HR are often involved in disciplinary investigations, but it is crucial that HR limits advice to questions of law, procedure and process and avoids straying into areas of culpability. HR should not be seeking to influence the outcome of an investigation, which could potentially compromise the fairness of the process. (Ramphal v Department of Transport)

In this case, there were questions raised concerning Mr Ramphal’s expense claims. Mr Goodchild, who was conducting the investigation, had not conducted an investigation previously and sent the first draft of his report to HR. He had initially found that Mr Ramphal’s explanations were plausible and that he should be given a final warning.

The report went back and forth for six months, by which time the recommended sanction was dismissal for gross misconduct. The EAT found that HR had involved themselves in issues of culpability which should have been reserved for Mr Goodchild, and that they should have limited themselves to questions of law and process.

It is clear that HR must limit their involvement in disciplinary investigations to advising on process, not on outcomes.

For more information please contact David Green on +44 (0)20 7203 5066 or at david.green@crsblaw.com