This is a tricky and complicated one, so I’ll try to keep the synopsis as brief as possible.

The company received a complaint from one of our service users (a recreational club) in relation to an employee whose services they used regularly as a coach.

In January we were provided with a number of complaints against the employee, some ranging back to 2007 and the most recent dating back to December 2008.

We have held a number of investigation meetings with every person mentioned in each complaint and every person the employee has suggested as witnesses.

All of the complainants are committee members of this club who are all backing each other with identical stories. All employee witnesses are friends of the employee and parents of children who attend our premises.

The crux of the situation is that the complaints have only been witnessed by committee members and each situation could be viewed as acceptable in terms of the employee’s explanation, but unacceptable if the word of the committee members is taken as factual.

My problem is that no-one interviewed is impartial and I am struggling to get definitive proof to support either camp. Based on probability, as the committee members are backing each other, their stories match and it could be argued that they have witnesses albeit from the same committee.

My biggest concerns are that a) the length of time it has taken them to report some of the issues and the fact that they allowed the alleged actions to continue and didn’t once raise them formally or informally with the employee, and b) the potential lack of impartiality.

Any suggestions on what to base a decision on? I’m struggling to decide whether this needs to go to a disciplinary hearing or not as it is impossible to determine which account of events is correct.


HR Manager