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Help, two members of staff have just had an argument in the workshop which turned physical. How do I handle this?

The first step, like with any employment issue, is to check your policies and procedures to make sure you handle matters in the way that has been set out in the employment contract and/or employee handbook.

In this scenario, ideally you would look to suspend the two employees. Suspension should not be a form of punishment, but allows you to carry out an investigation into the situation without further incident and without witnesses being influenced in any way.

You will need to carry out an investigation by interviewing the individuals involved and anyone who saw or heard what happened. Having done so, you should then decide whether there is sufficient evidence to justify a disciplinary hearing for one or both employees.

It may be they were both in the wrong, that one is more in the wrong than the other, or that only one of them did anything wrong. If there is, then it is a case of following a fair procedure which should involve a disciplinary hearing, allowing the employee to be accompanied to any disciplinary hearing, reaching a decision that is reasonable in all the circumstances and if a sanction is to be imposed allowing the employee the right of appeal.

If you require advice please get in touch with our employment department on 01246 932 100 or email us at

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