Problems can arise in any workplace and making sure they are dealt with fairly and consistently may require an investigation. A properly conducted investigation allows a manager to fully consider the matter and decide if there are sufficient grounds to call a disciplinary hearing.
In potential disciplinary investigations, a flawed or incomplete investigation can undermine the disciplinary process and may either mean that decisions are overturned at appeal stage or can leave employers vulnerable to claims for unfair dismissal.
The role of the investigator is to be fair and objective in order to establish the facts and reach a conclusion on what did or did not happen. Ideally the company would have trained a particular manager for this role.
Before the investigation begins managers should:
- Identify with the legislation around investigations
- Understand the steps involved in the investigation process
- Be aware of the skills involved in an effective investigator
- Be confident in planning, evidencing and producing a report for an investigation
The investigation process should include the following:
- Creating an investigation plan
- Interviewing witnesses and taking statements
- Collecting evidence
- Writing a report and making a recommendation
Be aware that every incident is unique but the investigation process is the same.
If in-house knowledge is lacking on how to conduct investigations we advise you to seek out local training companies to help.
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