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What do you do when you are told about aggressive behaviour but asked not to do anything?

I have just had a member of staff (I will call him number 1) come and see me about an aggressive encounter with another member of staff (I will call him number 2)   Number 1 was working in his work bay in a manufacturing workshop and number 2 went into number 1's bay.   Number 1 asked number 2 want he wanted and number 2 went right up to number 1's face and said I don't like you and you say anything to me I'll "drop you" and then he

Number 1 was working in his work bay in a manufacturing workshop and number 2 went into number 1's bay.   Number 1 asked number 2 want he wanted and number 2 went right up to number 1's face and said I don't like you and you say anything to me I'll "drop you" and then he said "i'll slap you".   

Number 1 just reported this to me but expressly said that he doesn't want me to do anything about it.    He just wanted to report it to me.    

Number 1 believes it stems from a few weeks previously when number 2 came back from a sickness absence relating to shingles.   He walked into number 1's bay and he said he asked number 2 "you're not contagious are you?".  Number 2 said he wasn't and walked away.   Number 2 hasn't spoken to number 1 since.   

I explained that I cannot condone aggressive behaviour and that I don't like the idea of not being able to address the issue but he asked me not to.  

Any suggestions on what I can do next - or should i just write up a file note and leave it?

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  • www2.cipd.co.uk/.../59212

    Hi Nicola

    Have a look at the above "Discussion thread of note". If the link doesn't work, you'll find this heading on the right hand side of the front page of the Discussion Forums.
  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    31 Mar, 2017 17:37

    Welcome to the Community, Nicola. An interesting first post!

    Thanks for fishing Peter's thread out . This is another good one: Testing our integrity

    Tagging  here at CIPD, who has posted several questions which touch on these dilemmas.

    We cannot not know what we know!!

  • You cannot unknow anything. Which is why there's really not much truth in having a 'confidential' discussion unless it is totally nothing to do with the company.

    You will end up looking very stupid if it comes to a head and you have to admit that you knew but had been told about it but had been asked not to do anything about it.

    Writing up in a file note and leaving it there is further proof that you choose (as a manager) not to take action when you know you should!
  • Welcome Nicola - I didn't notice - - how remise of me...!!

    BTW, Mrs P was a Relate couple counsellor. They were always taught that if anyone said anything that was illegal or likely to be evidence of something illegal that regardless of the client's wishes, she was to tell them she could not keep this confidential.

    And of course that is the position you are now in and you have a duty to protect your employer too, which is where your loyalties, as a manager lay.
  • In reply to Elizabeth Divver:

    And I failed to notice your link.!
  • In reply to David Perry:

    "Private and Personal: addressee only

    Dear .........

    This is to notify my considered response to the matter we discussed (whenever). Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

    As you particularly requested, this matter as it presently stands  will not be taken forward as a formal complaint or formal grievance, but, now that I, on behalf of your employers, know about it, we are very much duty-bound to maintain your workplace safety and welfare and will therefore be taking appropriate action in response. But be assured, your wishes about the matter will be respected if at all possible, consistent with this duty.

    If there is anything you need to clarify or further discuss or anything else you'd like to bring to my attention, please don't hesitate at all to contact me."

  • Hi Nicola,

    Firstly; welcome to the community. Secondly, apologies for the late response – I’ve been off getting hitched!

    I think Steve tagged me because of a discussion I started a while back - 'can you be fair and treat people as individuals?' There are definitely a lot of parallels between the theme of that discussion and your situation, and there might be some food for thought in there?

    Also, I’ve been involved in developing the CIPD’s principles for the last year or so. The principles will help guide HR and L&D professionals when they encounter situations that don’t appear to have any obvious right or wrong answers. You can find them in full here: www.cipd.co.uk/principles - but there are two snippets that might apply to your dilemma and help to guide you:

    • “Good work is safe and inclusive.”
    • “People deserve to be treated fairly and have a meaningful voice in matters that protect them, in addition to their rights and protection under law”

    I realise you posted a while ago so it might all be resolved now - if so, please let us know how it went, and, if not, I hope these resources are helpful.  

    Thanks,

    Lizzie