I joined our company a year ago to start up an HR department from scratch. I inherited a member of staff who had been helping out the General Manager with HR admin for the past 3 years.
I knew that she had justifiable issues over the way the company had treated her in the past (when she came back from maternity leave, she was effectivly demoted) but was assured these issues had been dealt with.
Recently, the complaints about her have started to come in. Staff do not feel she can be trusted with confidential information and she is seen as a gossip and very judgemental. The perception is that she goes home and discusses the days issues with her husband who also works for our company. I have discussed these issues with her as part of her performance management. She makes improvements, then slides back again.
Staff will not come and discuss confidential information when she is in the office as they fear that it will be relayed back to her husband. Our MD has asked me not to discuss any significant HR matters in her presence as he believes she ‘leaks’ information and only works in HR to gain info on staff and gossip.
Things recently come to a head when her husband requested a pay increase which was declined. During his performance meeting with his manager, he hinted at details of other managers salaries / packages, in attempt to justify his pay request.
The only way he cold have known this sensitive information was by his wife telling him.

This might sound crazy, but I am at a loss for what to do. I don’t have hard evidence that she is disclosing information, but a very strong suspicion. I am concerned that the credibility of HR will go rapidly downhill if staff and managers feel they cannot trust a member of my team. However, i’m not sure a ‘suspicion’ is enough to start investigating. If I am wrong, then I could do irrepairable damage to my relationship with my administrator. If I do nothing, then the damage to HR and to the business will contiune.

Any suggestions are very gratefully received!