A formal investigation aims to find out whether bullying has taken place and to what extent. A preliminary investigation may be necessary before a mediation process begins.

In cases where mediation is not appropriate, a full investigation takes place. The investigation process – including the names of the investigator/s should be agreed between management and the Union. The process and working methods of the investigator/s should be explained so that they are clearly understood by the parties involved. It should also be confidential, objective and thorough. The investigation should hear both sides of the case together with any witnesses for either party. The investigation should not prejudge the outcome and must show respect and sensitivity to all parties.

Investigators are entitled to consider any relevant notes, records, statements, correspondence and diary entries – together with details of interviews conducted with the parties and witnesses to the alleged incidents.

If the investigation proves that bullying has taken place, then sanctions should be imposed on the bully which take account of the severity of the offensive behaviour. These sanctions could include re­assignment to new work duties and/or new work locations, compulsory attendance at counselling or participation in some form of training, or even dismissal.

In addition to proposing sanctions to be imposed on the bully, recommendations should also be made to support the victim of bullying.


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