Advice: Using expert investigation

Workplace investigations examine formal complaints and allegations such as grievances, whistle blowing, disciplinary cases and fraud.

Alison Driver Metisby Alison Driver, Metis HR.

Expert investigation obtains a clear picture of the situation through evidence gathering and analysis. The employer must be able to defend their position should a dismissal case go to tribunal and show that they have undertaken an appropriate level of investigation.

This is how allegations against an employee could play out:

Scenario 1 Your company’s HR department or outsourced supplier commissions an investigation from InvestigHR, in line with your company’s disciplinary policy. InvestigHR carries out the investigation on behalf of you, the employer.

InvestigHR provides a fully cross-referenced report establishing the facts of the matter backed up by a comprehensive evidence pack. The report and pack are often upwards of 300 pages if required.

Your manager is free to act as an expert witness, if required, providing valuable evidence to the investigation. This could not be submitted if the manager was investigating.

Scenario 2 You choose a manager to do the investigation. They commit several days to their report, but it is only a few pages because they’re specialists in what they do, not employee investigations. It’s lacking both quantity and quality, and you cannot establish fairness or reasonable grounds (both of which are essential at tribunal).

Your company has two choices: keep the problem employee or sack them and face a compensation claim with the potential of relying on an inadequate defence. An expert investigation leads to a considered decision which increases the likelihood of supporting an outcome of fair dismissal should the employee decide to take the matter to an employment tribunal. It gives you the ammunition to confidently choose the best outcome for your business.