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Confidentiality

Hi Everyone, Seeking some advice. We currently have a small group of 3 individuals residing in the same team. All have recently been disciplined for various reasons. It has now been brought to a senior managers attention via an email from another employee that the 3 individuals have been openly discussing the process, panel members & level of warnings received. The employee has explained in the email that the behaviour of the 3 individuals has affected her, making her feel uncomfortable while affecting moral & productivity within the team. The discussions taken place, can this be a breach of confidentiality & viewed also as a breakdown of trust & confidence.?, therefore proceeding with an investigation that may result in formal action. Or should I act as a voice of reason, & advise the manager to manage the situation informally in the hope of early resolution & maintain relationships Thanking you in advance
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  • They have been discussing their own disciplinary situation with each other? If so what is wrong with that? People do. Unless you have a very well written confidentiality policy then I would forget disciplining them for discussing their own cases.

    At best a quiet word to be more discrete. I am a little unsure why the fourth member of staff feels so affected. Are we missing sone thing?
  • You can approach this as a breach of confidentiality as long as you have clear privacy policies and you have written records of asking them to keep the case confidential. I would avoid using breakdown of trust and confidence as they haven't breached the fundamentals of their employment contract. Whether you go formal or informal is your decision, assess the individuals and the reasons for their discussions and trust your gut instinct.
  • Three employees on same team formally disciplined already and further formal disciplinary process being contemplated........we don’t know anything like the full and particular facts but it looks like disciplinary action is pretty rife here, and it may well be worth addressing the question as to why: is this really the best way to run things?

    The suggestion that those having been disciplined should be disciplined again for daring freely to discuss what happened amongst themselves is, in most usual circumstances, a completely unreasonable approach. Moving forward in harmony / putting past problems behind everyone would normally be the way to go, and therefore quiet informal words integrated with further measures indeed to move forward might be far preferable.

  • Have you read this thread?

    www.cipd.co.uk/.../use-of-nda-for-disciplinary-hearings

    What are you going to do if they continue talking? Dismiss them all?
  • In reply to Shona Hamilton:

    Welcome ro the community Shona!!

    I'm not sure thats a viable option though - regardless of policy. How will you prevent them from discussing it with each other?? Especially if they do it out of ear shot.  And what if they want to appeal?? 

    Similar thread here:www.cipd.co.uk/.../use-of-nda-for-disciplinary-hearings

  • My bigger concern here would be why these employees have such a relaxed attitude to being taken through disciplinary procedures that they are so comfortable comparing notes in an open forum.
    Perhaps all three have a persistent attitude problem that they don't respect or take these procedures seriously?
    Does the organisation have a reputation for not following through with disciplinary sanctions and staff have got blase about them?
    Either way they don't seem particularly fearful of being discipline and that would worry me!
  • Hi all,

    Just like to say thank you for your comments. It’s good to receive different view points
  • In reply to Victoria:

    Good point Victoria and well spotted.

    This may well happen when the shop floor staff have absolutely no respect for their managers, employers or the disciplinary procedures in force. And that is an issue which the company needs to take on board an action.

    You can't flog people into enthusiasm and 'engagement'. As a manager of the company one of the first questions I'd ask myself/ourselves is what are we doing wrong?
  • I guess you should first understand the reason of their such behaviour and find the root cause(s). It shows their lack of respect and care for management and authority. Or may be they are receiving such notices regularly without any proper action which has reduced its importance.