(Post made at 1145 UK BST time on 30 Sep 2018 in a personal capacity. Please see here for important background and disclosure of interests).
This shows a sequence of Tweets addressed openly to View HR Ltd (the company which conducted the “independent investigation” into my formal complaint – and that of my wife – to Bournemouth and Poole College in summer 2017) and Bournemouth and Poole College.
On 29 July 2018 Gordon Exall (@CivilLitTweet), one of several barristers and solicitors that I follow, tweeted the following:
CIVIL PROCEDURE:BACK TO BASICS 9: THE COURT NOT ENTITLED TO REJECT WRITTEN EVIDENCE UNLESS IT IS “SIMPLY INCREDIBLE (with a link to http://www.civillitigationbrief.com/2018/07/29/civil-procedureback-to-basics-9-the-court-not-entitled-to-reject-written-evidence-unless-it-is-simply-incredible/)
Given that View HR Ltd had refused to rely on written evidence I and my wife (Wessex Middle Strings and Wessex Starter Strings Conductor from September 2004 until May 2017) had supplied, I retweeted this the same day, asking the College and View HR to comment:
1/ Care to comment
@BPCollege (Bournemouth & Poole College) & @viewhr (View HR Ltd)? In an independent investigation of a formal complaint to @BPCollege last year, the investigator from @viewhr disregarded email evidence that I & another complainant had supplied
2/ The comment made by the
@viewhr investigator was “Email communication invariably results in misinterpretation as there is no body language to support its content.” This seems a v controversial statement to say the least. Courts seem to rely on email evidence very frequently.
3) The View HR Ltd investigator also stated that no witnesses had been willing to step forward to support the allegations in my complaint. Several witnesses whose details I had passed on to
@BPCollege confirmed to me in writing that they were never contacted by the investigator
Silence from both Bournemouth and Poole College and View HR Ltd.
On 6 August 2018 I followed up with:
@ViewHr (View HR Ltd)’s website claims as the benefits of using them as an external investigator (http://viewhr.co.uk/workplace-investigations/ …) “Impartial and independent investigator” &, “Produces comprehensive investigation report and witness statements”
5) How impartial was it
@viewHr & @bpcollege to ignore email evidence & not to interview witnesses supporting a complaint? How can an investigation report be comprehensive if it missed out statements from supportive witnesses? @emplawyers : is that consistent with membership?
Again, silence from both Bournemouth and Poole College and View HR Ltd.
I followed up on 28 August 2018:
6) Over 3 weeks later and no response at all from
@viewhr. Did @bpcollege not pass on to you the statements from supportive witnesses? Did they ask you to close the investigation before you received them? Or did you ignore those statements?
Still silence from both Bournemouth and Poole College and View HR Ltd.
Meanwhile, the View HR Ltd investigator’s membership of the prestigious Employment Lawyers Association (the ELA, @emplawyers mentioned in tweet no 5 above) ended within 3 days of querying with them whether someone who was not a practising solicitor (yet claimed to be on their membership page) was entitled to be a member. (See here). In my view this misrepresentation of the investigator (claiming membership of the ELA without being entitled to it), provided further evidence of #unethical behaviour by View HR Ltd.
I followed up on 8 September 2018:
Still no response at all from you
@viewhr after more than a month. I urge you to now “put things right” and do the right thing, which is to get in touch (someone other than the “investigator” please), apologising and coming clean on exactly what happened.
No response. I asked again, making it clear that this was their last opportunity, on 11 September 2018:
After first contacting you on 29 July, View HR Ltd (
@viewhr), I am offering you this last opportunity to get in touch and show some remorse for what happened. Please do so by the end of 18 September at the latest.
No response after almost 2 months
As you can see, neither Bournemouth and Poole nor View HR Ltd made any attempt to provide any credible explanation for their behaviour in ignoring written evidence and that from supportive witnesses.
I tweeted the following on 26 September 2018:
1/n All can see that I have had no reply from
@viewhr (who appear to have now blocked me) after almost 2 months.
.2/n In the complete absence of any explanation from
@viewhr it seems to me (from the written evidence I hold) that View HR Ltd helped @bpcollege & @wessextour (CWYM) to #coverup what looks to me like a) discrimination & v insensitive treatment of a child with disabilities, and
3/n b) poor treatment of at least 1 other child c) pretending to cooperate with other musical organisations while in reality doing the opposite (including refusing to share extra rehearsal dates or to release WYO members to attend a school CONCERT on a weekday evening), &
4//n d) v poor treatment of at least one member of staff (disclosure: my wife, but another treated badly too imo), e) putting too much pressure on those children for whom music college is not the future route by holding excessive extra rehearsals in spring term, &
5/n e) not only ignoring
@bpcollege / CWYM’s duties not to discriminate against a disabled child & their parents, but also ignoring the duty of managers to consult staff rather than imposing extra (unpaid) duties on them, &
6/n f) putting the
#healthandsafety of CWYM children & parents at risk (in a complex where at least one fire had occurred in the previous 2 years) by delaying a long overdue #firedrill (as per @bpcollege at least partly “because of the WYO’s busy performanceschedule”), &
7/n g) reacting to reasonable, necessary & evidence-based (documented) criticism by “shooting the messenger” (me) & firing his wife it appears at the mere whim of CWYM (after 13 years of dedicated service, much to the dismay of children and parents)
8/n By conducting an “independent investigation” that in my view was biased (because it ignored the written evidence supporting the above, and the investigator failed to interview supportive witnesses) and partial (ruled out investigating some aspects at all),
9/n (contd) View HR Limited helped Bournemouth and Poole College (
@bpcollege) and CWYM (Centre for Wessex Young Musicians, WYO @wessextour ) cover up very poor behaviour and management, as well as what seems to me very poor treatment of a disabled child and their family.
10/n In my opinion, View HR Ltd’s work in this instance fell well below the standards that the public are reasonably entitled to expect in a professional “independent investigation”. In my opinion, the behaviour of
@BPCollege & CWYM was appalling, yet ViewHR rubber stamped it.
#IAmAnActuary, I have a professional duty to #SpeakUp if I believe that things are #unethical or illegal. I spoke up at the time (as SWYM Chairman) to CWYM then @BPCollege leadership, but their reaction was to try and silence me.
@BPCollege engaged View HR Ltd who carried out that very flawed “independent” investigation. They tried very hard to get me (& all other witnesses) to sign a confidentiality agreement (I didn’t). They then threatened me with litigation.
13/n I’m pretty sure that
@SteeleR_LLP (their lawyers last year) or any @sra_solicitors regulated firm (unlike View HR Ltd) on having asked for & read the written evidence I had supplied to @BPCollege (since further strengthened) would strongly advise them against it.
@sra_solicitors are the Solicitors’ Regulatory Authority (SRA). They have recently informed me that although not holding a practising certificate, the View HR Ltd “investigator” is still regulated by them, and in particular is subject to their code of conduct.
Has the Solicitors’ Code of Conduct been breached?
I would be surprised if any of the following (which in my view clearly happened) are consistent with the SRA code of conduct:
- conducting a biased investigation
- ignoring written evidence
- claiming membership of the Employment Lawyers Association (ELA) on false terms
- falsely stating on the ELA membership page that his/her qualification to be a member of the ELA was by virtue of being a current practising solicitor.
I will follow this up with the SRA.
Here is a quote from their website:
The courts have made clear that the standard of honesty required for solicitors is that they may be “trusted to the ends of the earth”.