Managing discipline, grievance and performance investigations are always a hot topic that we see our clients dealing with, lots of which absorbing too much time adding to the pressures of every day duties.
So, in this week’s HR Blast, see our FAQ’s on investigations, perhaps some of these may just come in handy the next time you’re having to deal with a potential issue or why not simply check your investigation knowledge to see how you fair in how you’ve been managing these internally:
An employee has raised a grievance, where do I start with investigating the issue?
It’s always good practise to first meet with the individual that has raised the complaint to gain a full understanding of their grievance. You’ll need to be clear what it is that you’re investigating and who you need to speak with as part of the investigation. It will be important to understand specific examples of any behaviour that is complained of, dates and times plus who witnessed the events…
An employee is refusing to provide a witness statement, what can I do?
Speak with the individual to understand what their concerns are in providing a statement. Usually individuals will be concerned if they are fearful of reprisal. Ideally their name is provided as part of the statement however, it’s not impossible to proceed with an anonymised statement. If someone simply refuses to provide a statement; you cannot force them to.
Is my role as an investigator to find evidence to uphold the allegations/complaint?
No, it will be important for you to include any evidence that counters the allegations/complaints raised.
My policy says I need to be ‘impartial’ when investigating – what does this mean in plain English?!
Ideally, the person that carries out the investigation should have no connection with the allegation that has been raised, so that you do not have any biases going into the investigation and so that you can find out the facts in a fair and reasonable manner. It also means that you should not come to any conclusions until you have finalised your investigation.
I need to write up a letter inviting an employee into an investigation meeting – where do I start?
Further investigation support
If you need further support in carrying out an investigation then you could download a full FAQ on investigations from our sister site Docs Wizard. If you don’t currently have membership, you can sign up here. Our FAQ investigations management guide also covers:
- I need to investigate an employee but they are off work ill – what can I do?
- What’s the best way to conduct an investigation meeting?
- What evidence do I need to collect as part of the investigation?
- What do we need to do about notes of investigation meetings with witnesses?
- What confidentiality issues to I need to be aware of?
Alternatively, please do contact our team of commercial HR Consultants who will be able to support you throughout the process and/or carry out the investigation for you. Lots of our clients use Jaluch to carry out the investigation to ensure impartiality.
The information contained within this article is for general guidance only and represents our understanding of employment and associated law and employee relations issues as at the date of publication. Jaluch Limited, or any of its directors or employees, cannot be held responsible for any action or inaction taken in reliance upon the contents. Specific advice should be sought on all individual matters.