Partner Victoria Willson highlights what businesses can learn in light of the dismissal of the former head of CBI, Tony Danker, over allegations of misconduct, in Management Today.
"The landscape has massively changed since #metoo, so it would be dangerous for employers to ignore misconduct allegations even if, such as here, they include those that are historical in nature and some predate Mr Danker’s time at CBI and are in large part denied by him.
"Where the allegations involve senior management, it is often advisable for the investigations themselves to be conducted by someone external. In terms of who would initiate such investigations these can potentially be handled by any chair of the board, any non-executive directors, senior leadership team or special committees.
"Employees are sometimes wary about raising concerns and, for large employers, it can be beneficial to have a helpline where staff can freely raise their concerns, including on a confidential basis.
"Employers should be aware that disciplinary action can be taken against management for any failure to deal with allegations properly. It is also important, however, that employers be wary of knee-jerk reactions, for example simply reacting to press reports or pressure from stakeholders or third parties. They should still follow the correct and appropriate procedures (which may be contractual) before reaching a decision to suspend or dismiss an employee in appropriate circumstances."
Victoria's comments were published in Management Today, 18 April 2023, and can be found here.