Honesty is the Best Policy
A recent decision in the Solicitors Regulation Authority where a solicitor was struck off for not only misleading his client but being dishonest in his disciplinary investigation has prompted me to write this article.
When a situation occurs at work which means you are under investigation, you may think it is a better option to outright deny the allegation made against you. This, of course, is fine if you have not done what you are being accused of, and you should defend yourself accordingly.
But what if you have done it? It may be tempting to deny, gloss over or leave out certain parts to make yourself look better.
However, putting your hands up and admitting when you have done something wrong is the best attitude to have for the following reasons:
· It can demonstrate a level of remorse with your employer that could result in you keeping a job and receiving a lesser sanction such as a verbal or written warning;
· If you are found to have been dishonest in trying to cover up anything you have done, this could be considered as an additional ground of misconduct (or more likely still gross misconduct) actually making it easier for your employer to dismiss you.
· If you are dismissed and decide to pursue a claim through the Tribunal, it could make your employer look unreasonable in their decision to dismiss you when you demonstrated a level of honesty.
So it stands to reasons that by being dishonest can not only destroy the trust and confidence your employer may have previously had with you (which in itself is a grounds for dismissal) but it is something the Tribunal particularly frowns upon, and can have the effect of tarnishing the Judge’s opinion of you, which could affect the outcome of your case.
The decision of both the employer and the Tribunal will of course also depend on other factors such as the nature of the allegation and if you have had any previous disciplinary action, so I cannot guarantee the outcome will always be in your favour.