Question: What do you do where you receive a grievance during disciplinary proceedings? The matters are not related in substance. The allegations are serious enough where gross dismissal is a possible outcome. If allegations are found to be such that warrant summary dismissal, would you still investigate grievance? And would you do so during the disciplinary proceedings or after?
Answer: There is no straight forward answer. There are lots of possible combinations. Subject to practicalities, go through both processes in parallel as quickly as possible. I don’t believe either should be put on hold; that is if the subject matter is unrelated.
If you decide to run the two procedures concurrently it is advisable to have separate Chair / HR. For many smaller companies this would cause operational strain. If this is the case, I propose you deal the grievance case after you conclude with the disciplinary and appeal process, and commit to following through on due process.
If a dismissal was enacted before the unrelated grievance, it would still be in your interest to hear the grievance, if the employee still wanted to pursue it, as it may reveal issues internally that need addressing, or at worse some unrelated bullying or harassment.
Where in doubt, call Mary on 086 8225448 to discuss through your situation and get some advice. All situations are different and need to be handled accordingly.