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Acas provide guidance on how to handle reluctant witnesses in investigations

Acas highlight that establishing the facts around an incident at work will often rely on witnesses giving statements about what has happened. But sometimes witnesses are reluctant to speak out and Acas have provided guidance on handling the situation. Acas point out that If witnesses have concerns, it’s up to the investigator to explore the issues, put interviewees at ease, and resolve any outstanding problems they have about providing information. In exceptional circumstances, investigators could agree to anonymise a witness statement, for example, where a witness has a genuine fear of reprisal. However, Acas advise that anonymity should be avoided as it’s likely to put the employee under investigation at a disadvantage. It is much harder to challenge evidence when it is given anonymously.

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