Investigating bullying and harassment – a checklist

With the increased number of complaints going to Employment Tribunals, never has it been more important that companies investigate formal complaints of bullying and harassment in a robust and fair manner.

Jean Kelly Consultancy has developed a checklist so that companies can be sure that their investigation procedures are fit for purpose.

Jean Kelly, whose company has investigated more than 70 formal complaints of harassment, bullying, discrimination and victimisation, says investigation procedures should cover issues such as:



  • reasonable time scales (if they are too short, you are bound to fail!),

  • who will investigate and who will take notes,

  • the right to be accompanied/represented

  • how notes will be signed off and circulated,

  • the submission of written statements,

  • whether there will be full disclosure of evidence,

  • who will make the findings,

  • who will be eligible to read the final report,

  • grounds and timescales for appeal.

“If investigators have a consistent and robust procedure when investigating formal complaints of harassment, bullying, discrimination and/or victimisation,” Jean adds, “their findings are more likely to be fair, transparent and less likely to be appealed.”

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