Internal investigations are now an everyday feature in the workplace. This may be in the context of anything from alleged misconduct, grievances and capability to a customer complaint and more.

Many of us have experience of internal investigations, perhaps as an aggrieved party, a witness, an investigating officer or simply as a bystander to the proceedings. Whatever the situation, it is crucial that internal investigations are conducted efficiently and fairly to inform the way forward, for example: disciplinary sanctions; conflict resolution programmes; improved working practices.

A badly handled investigation can have a negative impact on all aspects of the business. Those who have witnessed, or been involved in, a badly handled investigation, will be well aware that it can turn costly very quickly, distracting from normal business operations, lower moral and fuel on-going conflict.

When an internal investigation is necessary, a fair and reasonable process is crucial to ensure the way forward is based on fact and to prevent potential litigation. An impartial and systematic approach to establishing the facts of the case will help to avoid this unnecessary drain on resources, on-going unhealthy workplace relationships and claims of unfairness.

Additionally, the investigation report should be able to stand the test of time, withstanding scrutiny from aggrieved parties, appeal panels, trade unions and legal professionals.

The key elements of a fair and reasonable investigation

Specific circumstances in each case determine the depth of investigation

Clear remit for investigators

Clear terms of reference

Systematic approach to establishing the facts

Report that is based on facts and can withstand scrutiny

Opt ltd have extensive experience in all types of workplace investigation.  If you feel that investigations in your workplace could be improved please do give us a call on 020 7502 0536.

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