One of the organisations we work with is having considerable difficulties with a new recruit and would welcome expert advice.

The organisation hired their new employee 4 months ago to a very senior position. However, her behaviour is unpredictable and bizarre and there are feelings that there may be mental health issues. She often turns up very late for work, stays a short while and then disappears. No one knows where she is, including her secretary. She has missed several key meetings and, when she does attend, either does not contribute or is unable to keep focussed. She dresses inappropriately (she turned up in a scruffy t-shirt and jeans for a meeting with senior executives from partner agencies) and appears to have no concept of acceptable behaviour.

The management committee, who are effectively her employer, has put her on indefinite leave pending disciplinary action. Although the committee appreciate that she should be given the chance to improve they feel that there has been a complete breakdown in trust in her and they are reluctant to allow her back in the building for fear that her actions will do further damage to the reputation of the organisation and to staff morale.

Any suggestions as to the safest way to proceed?



Phil Bagnall