Posted by Gemma Ospedale, Partner
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Defining HR’s role in disciplinary situations
In Ramphal v Department for Transport the EAT looked at the extent to which a dismissing and investigating officer can or should seek guidance or advice from HR and the extent of that guidance or advice.
The EAT held that such an officer could indeed seek guidance or advice but this should be limited to questions of law and procedure and the culpability of the
employee concerned. In this case there was inference that the HR department had inappropriately lobbied the dismissing officer with regard to the culpability of the Claimant and the appropriate sanction to impose, which the EAT considered was inappropriate. It also held that the Employment Judge had not properly considered this point, which the EAT took the view was quite important and the extent of any improper influence must be taken into consideration.
In short, the role of HR is defined as being limited to advice on the law and procedure but not in respect of the specifics of a particular disciplinary situation.
This legal update is provided for general information purposes only and should not be applied to specific circumstances without prior consultation with us.
For further details on any of the issues covered in this update please contact Gemma Ospedale, Partner in Employment on 020 7583 2222.
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