When possible disciplinary or grievance issues occur in the workplace, employers have a responsibility to find out all they reasonably can about the situation to ensure matters are resolved fairly and effectively. To do this, they should conduct a workplace investigation as soon as possible after the issue is raised.
What is a workplace investigation?
Workplace investigations are fact-finding exercises which generally take place after alleged misconduct occurs or a potential grievance is raised. A thorough investigation will allow employers to decide whether there is a case to answer and whether a formal process should be followed.
During the investigation process, employers should gather as much evidence as reasonably possible from all sides to understand what has occurred and to help determine next steps. It is essential that everyone involved in the process is treated fairly at all times.
Why are workplace investigations important?
An investigation may uncover extenuating circumstances which mitigate or justify the allegations that were made, meaning that formal action is not required. Instead, the employer may decide it is more appropriate to deal with the matter informally instead.
If a reasonable and fair investigation is not carried out, any decisions an employer makes in relation to the allegations are likely to be unfair which could risk legal action.
A comprehensive and fair investigation will protect all parties as employees should feel they have been treated fairly and have had the opportunity to explain things from their point of view. In addition, employers will be confident in the fact that they have heard the full story before making any decision.
Whether formal or informal action is required following an investigation, FD People are here to help. If you would like some advice on how to effectively manage workplace investigations and subsequent formal or informal processes, please contact email@example.com or call 0141 221 2984. We also have plenty of FREE resources to help you and your business over at our FD People Hub.