Workplace Investigations

Atkins Dellow > HR and Employment > Employees > Workplace Investigations

Expert Employment Law Solicitors

If you’re under investigation at your workplace, it’s imperative that you know your rights and what your employer is allowed to do.

Workplace investigations are always treated as a very serious matter because of the potential outcomes.

When allegations of misconduct are made against an employee, an employer can investigate those allegations. During the investigation the employer may, but they don’t have to, suspend the employee they are investigating while they’re carrying out the investigation.

Workplace Investigations Advice and Legal Services

There may be times when employers need a workplace investigation to be conducted independently or an employee needs legal representation.

Whoever we’re advising, we know how crucial it is to navigate the technicalities of the law as well as the sensitivities of the situation with care and efficiency, ensuring that all parties involved are treated respectfully and confidential.

The Workplace Investigation Procedure

Every employer should have their own procedure for workplace investigations, but, the minimum that they should do in the case of an investigation is follow the Acas Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures.

The main aims of the procedure laid out by ACAS are to:

  • See if there is a case for the employee to answer
  • Ensure that all employees are treated fairly
  • Gather evidence from all parties
  • Guide the employer on what action to take

If the employer finds that there is evidence that the employee did something wrong, they can move to a disciplinary procedure if they want to. The employer can decide to end the investigation at any stage if they don’t think the employee did anything wrong.

An investigation is an integral part of any disciplinary and dismissal process. So, if an employer conducts a formal investigation and fails to act fairly, they leave themselves open to a claim of unfair dismissal in the employment tribunal.

Workplace Investigations FAQs

Are Workplace Investigations confidential?

An investigation should be kept confidential by your employer, even if it becomes common knowledge that one is underway. An employer should inform all its employees of the importance of keeping the subject matter of any investigation confidential, and that it will take disciplinary action if confidentiality on the topic is breached. That said, an employee can confer with an employee representative or their union representative, without it being deemed a breach of confidentiality.

Can a former employee be investigated by their employer?

Yes, an employer can investigate the disciplinary process relating to or grievance of a former employee. But, this is unusual and will only normally be undertaken where it’s requested by a current employee ore where it’s required as part of an employment tribunal claim.

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