Friday, 13 April 2012

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth

Ever thought someone wasn’t telling you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in a disciplinary meeting? How do you get the truth from that person? Well... in South Africa we have discovered you are able to use lie detectors in disciplinary meetings!
It certainly is different to our ‘reasonable doubt’ judgement when looking into disciplinary matters.

With theft, fraud, blackmail and sexual harassment cases, lie detectors are brought into disciplinary meetings which in South Africa is considered legal. Permission is always sought from the person being interviewed and it is always made clear that the person has the right to refuse. Naturally those that were taking medication and pregnant women are excluded. However, as with refusing to do an alcoholic breathalyser test, the inference might be that they had something to hide. This sub-technique works wonders.

Naturally on the occasions when the detector went off the scale, this could indicate that the person was being a little economical with the truth. When this was pointed out to them, on about 99% of cases; they then confessed all to the offence.

Using a lie detector in UK disciplinary meetings is likely to attract unwanted attention and we have yet to find reference to it in the best practise guidance of managing difficult disciplinary meetings!