Disciplinary Action announced against G20 death Pc
PC Simon Harwood, the Pc who struck Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests on 1 April 2009, will face gross misconduct disciplinary charges, the Metropolitan Police have announced.
While disciplinary procedures should normally be taken promptly after an alleged incident has been identified, the Employment Appeals Tribunal – in the case of Secretary of State for Justice v Mansfield – have ruled that decision-makers, where an employee facing disciplinary proceedings is at the same time being investigated by the police, have a wide discretion whether to continue or postpone the disciplinary hearing.
This option is available to small businesses, and could be applied for example, where employers are dealing with cases of theft or driving incidents, although it is not always the best option: even if an employee is given a custodial sentence, they may still remain employees (frustration of the contract would require a lengthy absence from employment), and attract the benefits associated with that. Each case will need to be assessed on its own merits, but employers should carefully consider whether to suspend a disciplinary process while any police investigation is ongoing.