The Court of Appeal has confirmed that a dismissal will not be unfair simply because a decision to start disciplinary action is made before the investigation is complete. The Court stated that it may be necessary to suspend an employee as soon as investigations have discovered serious matters which are likely to be the subject of disciplinary action, even though the full investigation has not been completed. Continuing the investigation does not render the process unreasonable provided that the employee is given a full and fair opportunity (which could be at the disciplinary hearing) to engage with any new charges or new material which might emerge as a consequence.
Equally, the lack of formal hearing for the employee at the early investigatory stage did not render the process unfair on the facts, given that there were no significant disputed facts. (Sattar v Citibank NA)