We are often asked to undertake investigations into complex workplace issues, these can include anything from allegations of harassment and bullying to low staff morale or a high turnover of staff.
In our role of investigators we act as an independent external and professional body who will gather, examine and investigate all of the issues, look for the evidence and speak to the correct people.
We conduct our investigations impartially, sensitively and swiftly and after doing all of this we will produce written a report which is reasoned, fair and unbiased. We can give you recommendations as to a way forward. This can include recommended disciplinary action or identifying areas where you can improve your processes and culture.
Of course, as solicitors who specialise in employment law we fully understand the legal framework and how best, if you follow our recommendations, you can limit any exposure you may have for future claims.
Managers are often reluctant to commission an investigation, citing the time it will take, a possible adverse impact on staff morale or sometimes because they are worried about the outcome and any repercussions. However, if it has got to the stage when you are thinking you need to have one done, you can guarantee you almost certainly should. Sometimes it is the only and the right thing to do. Having an external professional person conduct an investigation shows that you take your responsibilities seriously and you care for your staff. Often, it is far less risky to get to the bottom of any issues and deal with them appropriately. You are seen by the courts and tribunals of doing the right thing and this always places you in a positive light.
What is the investigation process ?
Firstly, get in touch with either Rachel or Helen, one of the two Directors here at Just Employment and both very experienced employment solicitors. We are very happy to have an initial chat with you to find out as little more about you and what issues you are facing and why you are considering an independent investigation. After this chat, and assuming we both agree that an investigation is appropriate, you will need to send us the key documents, sometimes this will be a grievance and accompanying documents, other times it will be your summary of the situation and the relevant paperwork. We will then have a more focused meeting when we can discuss the terms of reference setting out precisely what it is we are being asked to do, sources of evidence and timescales.
Once the terms of reference are agreed we can start our investigations – this will almost always include arranging interviews with key witnesses and people involved.
Once we have concluded our investigations we will send you a draft report. Sometimes, we have a meeting with you to discuss the draft report face to face.
We will then make the final amendments to the report and send it in its final form with all documents we have used annexed as a separate bundle.
How much will it cost you for commissioning us to do a workplace investigation ?
Naturally, you will want to know how much this will cost you. Every case is different and we will be able to give you a more precise quote after we have agreed the terms of reference as by then we will know how long the investigation will take, how many people we need to interview and how much paperwork is involved.
How long will it take ?
We act swiftly, once we have agreed the terms of reference we will be able to commence our investigations within 4 to 8 working days. How long it lasts will depend on the situation, we will give you an idea of timescales at the start.
What is the status of the investigation report in any subsequent disciplinary action or litigation ?
In these cases, we would be acting for you as an independent body and the report, and all accompanying documents, would not be subject to professional privilege. Our report would be part of any disciplinary pack and it would be disclosed (and therefore a part of) in any litigation which may ensue.
Will you have to come to our premises ?
Not necessarily, we can conduct our investigation from our offices and we can arrange for all meetings to be conducted via Teams or Zoom. Alternatively, if you would like us to come to you, we will.
You are more than welcome to contact us to have an initial, no obligation, chat with one of our directors to discuss your situation and to see if this is something we can help you with. Call us on 01483 303636 or email email@example.com to speak to one of our solicitors.