The professional working environment expects a certain standard of personal conduct from those that operate within it.
Depending on the industry and workplace culture, the behaviour expected of employees can vary greatly. The scope for employees to find themselves in trouble is therefore rather broad. Whether this trouble arises from innocent misunderstandings, ignorance over expected conduct, or simply wilfully poor behaviour, having employees cross the line is always an imminent possibility in the workplace.
How best to deal with these scenarios?
As an employer, there is a heavy burden on you to identify such situations and deal with them appropriately. The essential component of this lies in the investigations that must occur when an allegation is made or evidence found that an employee has acted inappropriately.
In such cases the employer must behave impartially and fairly, yet with a view to uncovering the facts of the matter. This must be done in accordance with the procedures laid out in the company manual and the ACAS guidelines. It should also be appropriately tailored to the situation, and a one-size-fits-all approach could see your business’ investigations creating as many problems as they solve.
The key to an effective employee investigation is expert legal advice from experienced practitioners in employment law. While investigations can be conducted without recourse to legal assistance, it opens the employer up to messy workplace scenarios.
Employees may become disgruntled by the process and begin suffering with low morale. You may find the matter has concluded poorly and unsatisfactorily. It’s even possible that an employee may take you to the employment tribunal, bringing a claim against your company to resolve the situation.
Don’t fall victim to the many pitfalls that await employers in the course of employee investigations. Contact our employment law team and let us guide you through your situation, every step of the way.