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Tackling Workplace Investigations

Tackling Workplace Investigations
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ISBN: 978-87-403-0108-3
1 edition
Pages : 51
Price: Free

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Workplace investigations are often poorly executed.

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About the book

  1. Description
  2. Preface
  3. Content
  4. About the Author
  5. Embed


Workplace investigations are often poorly executed. If you carry out a poor investigation, it’s likely that the result of the discipline process will be equally poor – and that can lead to employment tribunal claims. When problems arise, employers must investigate and determine, as far as is reasonably possible, what really happened. This book shows you how to get it right.


This book has been written to ensure that employers who are carrying out investigations have the correct tools to do a good job. So often, investigations are poorly executed. If you carry out a poor investigation, it’s likely that the result of the discipline or grievance process will be equally poor – and that can lead to employment tribunal claims.

Problems with employees come in all shapes and sizes, from small matters such as timekeeping through to complaints of harassment, money or property going astray, poor work performance and accidents and injuries. When problems such as these occur, employers must investigate and determine, as far as is reasonably possible, what really happened. There is no magic formula for conducting workplace investigations. They vary based on the issues and the people involved. Some investigations will be completed quickly with no need to interview witnesses. Others may require a far more detailed approach, involving the interviewing of a number of witnesses.


  • Preface
  • About the author
  • Miscellaneous notes
  • Overview of the Ebook
    1. Introduction
    2. What is a workplace investigation?
    3. Carry out the investigation in a timely way
    4. Employee privacy
    5. An investigation must be impartial
    6. Investigation interviews
    7. Follow the ACAS Code
    8. What happens if an employee goes sick with stress?
    9. Right to be accompanied
    10. Planning an investigation
    11. Gathering evidence
    12. Burden of proof 14
    13. Interviewing witnesses
    14. Anonymous witnesses
    15. Question technique
    16. Discipline
  • What is a workplace investigation?
    1. Introduction
    2. What sort of things trigger an investigation?
    3. What goes wrong?
    4. Balance the need to collect data against inappropriate invasion of privacy
    5. Following procedure is all-important
  • Carry out the investigation in a timely way
    1. Introduction
    2. How far back can I go to collect data?
    3. Long, long time ago – can I still remember?
  • Employee privacy
    1. Introduction
    2. Use of private investigators in an investigation
    3. Test data and don’t make assumptions
    4. Advise and warn about your right to monitor
  • An investigation must be impartial
    1. Introduction
    2. Build in some separation
    3. Preserve the evidence
  • Take a holistic approach
    1. Introduction
    2. Make sure the investigation is adequate
    3. Take a broad view
    4. Get the full picture and consider mitigating factors
    5. More discoveries
  • Follow the ACAS Code
    1. Introduction
    2. ACAS guidance
    3. Separate investigation and discipline
  • What happens if an employee goes sick with stress?
    1. Introduction
    2. First steps
    3. Recalcitrant employees
  • Right to be accompanied
    1. Introduction
    2. Companion at investigations
    3. Statutory pool
    4. Exceptions
    5. Legal advisor
  • Planning an investigation
    1. Introduction
    2. Decide what you are going to investigate
    3. Writing to employees at the investigation stage
  • Gathering evidence
    1. Introduction
    2. Interviews
    3. What happens if the facts are not in dispute?
    4. Get help to increase impartiality
    5. Collate the information and decide on next steps
  • Burden of proof
    1. Introduction
    2. Three part test
  • Interviewing witnesses
    1. Introduction
    2. Guidance for taking witness statements
    3. What to include
    4. Failure to attend
  • Anonymous witnesses
    1. Introduction
    2. Taking an anonymous witness statement
  • Question technique
    1. Introduction
    2. Open questions
    3. Questions to use carefully
    4. Questions to avoid
    5. The question funnel
  • Discipline
    1. Introduction
    2. Discipline hearing
  • About the Author

    Kate Russell, BA, barrister, MA is the Managing Director of Russell HR Consulting and the author of this publication. As Metro’s HR columnist, she became known to thousands, with her brand of down-to-earth, tactical HR. Kate is a regular guest on Five Live and her articles and opinions have been sought by publications as diverse as The Sunday Times, Real Business and The Washington Post, as well as every major British HR magazine and her HR blog has been rated third best in the UK. She is the author of several practical employment handbooks and e-books, the highly acclaimed audio update service Law on the Move, as well as a monthly e-newsletter, the latter document neatly combining the useful, topical and the frivolous.

    Russell HR Consulting Ltd delivers HR solutions and practical employment law training to a wide variety of industries and occupations across the UK. Our team of skilled and experienced HR professionals has developed a reputation for being knowledgeable, robust and commercially aware. We are especially well versed in the tackling and resolving of tough discipline and grievance matters.

    We also specialise in delivering employment law training to line managers, business owners and HR professionals, both as in-house, tailor made workshops or open courses. We provide a wide range of practical employment training, enabling new and experienced managers to ensure that they work in a compliant and ethical fashion, and gain optimum employee output.

    At Russell HR consulting we will design and deliver a solution that suits your particular needs, identifying and addressing the issues in the way that best fits your workplace.

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