Human Resources get a final warning
A noticeable trend over the last 10 years or so has been for the ‘soft’ skills of traditional personnel departments to be replaced with the seemingly ‘hard’ skills of Human Resources teams; the old style personnel advisor or manager has often been replaced with an HR Business Partner. This has, in our experience, often seen less emphasis on employee welfare and support, with more emphasis and involvement in decisions on disciplinary, dismissal and grievance matters – acting as decision makers instead of just advisors on law, process and procedure.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in Ramphal v Department for Transport UKEAT/0352/14 has shed light on the role HR should play in disciplinary matters.
The facts are quite simple. Mr Ramphal (R) was employed by the DfT as an Aviation Inspector, a role which required him to work across England, Wales and Scotland. To do this he was supplied with a hire car. Concerns arose over his private mileage and expenses claims.
Mr Goodchild (G), a DfT manager, was appointed to investigate and produce an investigation report. Mr G was new to this having not undertaken an investigation before. With HR’s input, his report confirmed there was a case to answer.
He was then tasked with carrying out the disciplinary procedure.
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