I’m investigating an accusation by one of our senior staff against a slightly more junior colleague. Apparently, at a social event, the junior colleague made a series of disparaging and damaging remarks about our company in the presence of a client. This is obviously a serious allegation as the remarks can negatively impact our relationship with our client and ‘dirty laundry’ should not be washed in public.

The accuser was at this social event and was pretty annoyed with what was allegedly said by the accused. My concern is that the accused may bring along a colleague who was also at the social event and will have witnessed what was said. Does that person have any right to address the hearing or back up the accused?  It’s the second time that the accused is alleged to have acted in such a way and in the first instance, we dealt with it informally.

Also, can you confirm that we have to name the accuser when we supply witness statements to the accused?