Tuesday, 21 November 2023 15:31

Workplace Investigations

In our most recent blog, we spoke to you about the rise in disciplinaries.

Although unfortunate, this is a reality. To have an effective disciplinary, you should always start with a thorough investigation. An investigation which is free from bias and uses all the facts is fundamental in a fair process and therefore minimising litigation risk to the business.

It’s fundamental to let all parities in the investigations feel heard.  

A thorough investigation will find the root cause of issues and give you the tools to prevent them happening again. This promotes a positive culture within the business.  

What are the steps to a thorough investigation?

  1. Organisational preparation
  • Decide whether an investigation is necessary, establish the scope of the investigation (terms of reference) and choose an appropriate investigator.
  1. The investigator’s preparation
  • The investigator should draft a plan of the investigation. This should include who to speak to and what further evidence needs to be gathered.
  1. Handling the investigation meetings
  • At this point the investigator should plan what questions needs to be asked and interview all relevant parties including witnesses. They may need to establish who can accompany employees to meeting. All meetings need to be minuted by a note taker and signed off by all parties. It is possible to record meetings providing all parties agree. It is also acceptable to use Zoom and some software will transcribe the meetings for you. These notes still need to be singed off by all parties. 
  1. Gathering the evidence
  • The investigator should collect all relevant and appropriate written documents e.g. emails and physical evidence e.g. voice notes. These should be filed alongside witness statements as supporting evidence.
  1. Reporting the findings
  • The investigator must then write a report based on their findings. They can then make a recommendation where requested based on their reasonable belief about the alleged misconduct.
  1. After the investigation
  • The investigator needs to submit the report and ensure that any recommendations unrelated to the matter are considered. The report should be retained for an appropriate amount of time.

Investigations can be time consuming, costly and cause distress amongst employees within your organisation. It is important that managers are appropriately trained to conduct fair investigations to maintain the team’s dignity and safeguard their wellbeing. Moreover, when managers have confidence to conduct investigations, a business can avoid spending money on external agencies to conduct the investigations.

Our ‘Workplace Investigation Training’ will support all first time and established managers to understand how to conduct a fair and legal investigation. If you would like to find out more click here or contact us: 01452 331331 and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read 278 times Last modified on Tuesday, 21 November 2023 15:35


HR Champions provide first class HR and Employment Law support and advice to UK businesses; operationally and strategically. If you're an employer you'll potentially need some, if not all, of the services we offer.

We deliver excellent management and soft skills training suitable for all organisational levels. We are ILM and City & Guild accredited and Ken Blanchard approved.  





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We have clients all over the UK but predominantly within about an hour's drive time of our offices; in Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Bristol and Swindon & Wiltshire.