There has never been greater pressure on Human Resources (HR) departments to help deliver on financial and performance targets. HR are relied upon to manage organisational change, support performance management of staff and to ensure the workforce has a culture that will fulfil ever increasing regulatory, stakeholder and corporate objectives. There has been a notable increase in the volume and types of employer / employee disputes, arising from changes to remote working arrangements, performance management and financial pressures. There will be occasions where tensions and conflict will arise, where you will require swift independent and professional support.
Our support includes the following areas:
- Information or allegation triage and assessment
- Investigation strategy planning and management
- Independent fact-finding investigation, inclusive of interviewing support
- Presentation of evidence at hearings or formal proceedings.
Our investigations are carried out in a sensitive and proportionate manner. We consider that these types of investigations need to be discrete, yet expeditiously and should always seek to minimise any potential disruption to the day-to-day business of your organisation. We are objective in our approach and base our findings on facts obtained. There is no pre-conceived outcome, and all relevant issues are fully explored. Our specialist investigators have access to our in-house digital forensic service thereby ensuring that any digital evidence is both retrieved securely and then presented in a suitable manner for any disciplinary or relevant hearing.
Our approach is conducted fully in accordance with your HR’s policies and framework. This ensures that in the event of any management action being required because of our findings, there is no risk of any of the findings being ruled as being inadmissible because of a failure to comply with the relevant approved HR policies and procedures.
If an investigation goes wrong
Upfront investment can prevent costly litigation, management time, downturn in productivity and disruption. Figures from the Ministry of Justice Q2 2022/23* showed that Tribunals determined 6% more claims than the same period 2021/22. The highest award for an unfair dismissal case was £165,000**. The maximum award was £228,117 for a race discrimination case. The second highest discrimination award was for a similar amount – £225,893 – in a disability discrimination case.
These figures exclude the substantial direct costs of legal fees and indirect costs associated with a tribunal claim. Too often, substantial staff time and energy are spent reacting to issues after they have surfaced and are forced to deal with the reputational and financial fallout.
How we can help
- Design and implementation of disciplinary and related policies and frameworks
- Assist in the triage and assessment of information received, whistleblowing matters, grievances and management conduct matters
- Provide expert independent and professional investigators, with an ability to deploy at short notice to investigate the dispute / allegations sensitively and identify the facts
- Provide a facts based report to support your actions and decision making process, which will withstand scrutiny
- Call upon our wider specialist support and networks to assist where the complexity or case circumstances dictate
- Post investigation root cause analysis / lessons learned support, to address system of procedural weaknesses
- Training for your staff and specialists on conducting investigations and management of whistleblowing incidents