Employment law still applies during the coronavirus pandemic, however employers need to give careful consideration to how to proceed.
One of the major issues will be around social distancing and the temporary closure of some workplaces. However as an employer you must ensure that procedures are taken forward without unreasonable delay. It could be possible to suspend a procedure, but only if a safe and fair way to move forward cannot be found.
You should communicate with the employee involved, their representative (if they have one) and any other people involved such as witnesses to decide if a suitable way forward can be found. Failure to find a reasonable way forward can result in an employment tribunal claim.
If your workplace is open you may be able to conduct a safe socially distanced meeting, perhaps with PPE in place. If this is not possible, you could consider a virtual meeting, but only if this is appropriate to the circumstances. You will need to ascertain if everyone involved has access to the required technology, if anyone has a disability or accessibility issue which would affect their ability to take part, if any evidence can be accessed and viewed clearly by everyone and also if it will be possible for people to fairly assess and question evidence given. If a video meeting does go ahead it could be recorded and everyone will need to know about and give their permission for this to happen. Find out more about recording meetings here. https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-protection/
Filled Under: Covid-19 Posted on: 24th February 2021