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Topic: Disciplinary, capability and dismissal

witness statement record
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Witness statement record

Witness statement record

When conducting a disciplinary investigation, in many cases you will need to interview witnesses and ask them to provide witness statements. Use our witness statement record to assist your employees in the provision of their statements.

For the record

During a disciplinary investigation there is a good chance that you will need to interview other employees, particularly if they were witnesses to the alleged incident or issue under investigation. There are two ways of doing this:

1.       You interview them, take notes of what they say and then produce a witness statement (based on those notes) for them to sign and date.

2.       You meet with them and ask them to produce their own witness statement for signature.

The advantage of the first method is that the statement is likely to make more sense when you’ve produced it but the disadvantage is that you’ve written it, not the employee, and therefore you could be accused of putting pressure on them or putting words in their mouth. Therefore, on balance, it’s better for the employee to write their own witness statement using their own words, although it’s still worth interviewing them first and going through the facts so that they understand the level of detail they need to include in their statement and they can get the sequence of events clear in their own minds. That said, if an employee is illiterate, they struggle with written English or English isn’t their first language, then it will make more sense for you to produce the witness statement for them based on your interview notes.

A helping hand

A good witness statement should include the following information:

  • the date and time of the incident/problem
  • the location of the incident/problem
  • the identities of any other witnesses or persons present
  • a detailed description of the incident/problem from the witness’ perspective - this should stick to the facts of what was witnessed, rather than drifting into conjecture or opinion
  • the name of the person giving the statement
  • the signature of the person giving the statement and the date it was given.

Using our Witness Statement Record will ensure that all of this information is included. It’s also important for the witness to give as much detail as possible in their statement, rather than making broad or vague assertions.

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