Archive


Jacqui Mann. Employee investigation

What To Do When Carrying Out An Employee Investigation

/ 0 Comments

The first thing to do when performing an Employee Investigation

When an incident occurs in your business, sometimes it’s difficult to know if any disciplinary action is required.

The first thing you need to do is carry out an investigation to establish the facts of what happened.

Any investigation should be carried out without unreasonable delay. Once you have completed the investigation you will then know if any further disciplinary action is required.

First of all, you need to establish all the facts surrounding the incident, including any mitigating circumstances.

The course of the investigation will vary, depending on the particulars of each case. However you do need to consider the following:

  • Decide who will conduct the investigation. Whenever possible, a different manager should conduct the investigation from the manager who would conduct any disciplinary meeting. A tribunal would not look favorably on the case if the same person carried out the investigation and then conducted the disciplinary hearing.
  • Review whether the employee should be suspended while the matter is being investigated. Suspension will normally only be appropriate in cases of negligence or gross misconduct. If you do suspend an employee you should still pay them. Remember suspension does not mean they are guilty. Suspension should be for as short a time as possible.

  • Interview witnesses. This should be done as soon as possible to ensure the incident is recalled accurately. Written signed statements should be obtained from each witness.
  • Obtain any other evidence that may be available. That could be CCTV, documents, timesheets etc. Anything that is going to give you more information about the incident.
  • In most cases you would holding an investigatory meeting with the employee to establish their version of events before proceeding to any disciplinary hearing. In some cases for example possible fraud in may not be necessary to do this. You could collect all your evidence and provide it to the employee when you invite them to a disciplinary meeting.
  • There is no statutory right for an employee to be accompanied at a formal investigatory meeting.
  • When investigating take care to deal with the employee in a fair and reasonable manner. The nature and extent of the investigations will depend on the seriousness of the matter and the more serious it is then the more thorough the investigation should be.
  • It is important to keep an open mind and look for evidence which supports the employee’s case as well as evidence against.

Employment Contract

  • When holding a meeting give the employee advance warning and time to prepare. Any investigatory meeting should be confined to establishing the facts of the case. You are not interested in gossip or hearsay, just facts.
  • It is important that disciplinary action is not considered at an investigatory meeting. If it becomes apparent that formal disciplinary action may be needed then this should be dealt with at a formal meeting at which the employee will have the statutory right to be accompanied.

Remember as the employer you could be held liable if a poor investigation leads to an unfair dismissal which can prove very costly in an Employment Tribunal.

Do you need legal employment advice? Talk to us about HR Support, book a call. We can help you.


separator

Redundancy consultation period will be halved

/ 0 Comments

The Government have announced plans to reduce the current 90 day minimum period, before large-scale redundancies can take place to 45 days. This controversial announcement has prompted Unions to accuse the Government of making it easier to sack staff.

At present, companies must consult with staff for a minimum of 30 days before making more than 20 staff redundant, or 90 days when 100 or more jobs are at risk.

The changes form part of the government’s commitment to review employment law to support business and concentrate on growth.

Draft regulations will be laid in the New Year and the changes are expected to be made with effect from 6 April 2013.


separator

Flexible Parental Leave from 2015

/ 0 Comments

The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced this week that a new flexible parental leave system will be implemented from 2015

  • Mothers will still be entitled to 52 weeks of maternity leave, but having taken the first two weeks after the birth of their child, the rest can be shared with the partner taking some, or both parents taking some together
  • The only rule is that no more than 12 months can be taken in total; with no more than 9 months at guaranteed pay

Currently, fathers can take 2 weeks of paternity leave around the time a baby is born and can then take a further 26 weeks (additional paternity leave) – but only when the baby is 20 weeks old and even then, only if the mother has returned to work. The new plans are aimed at supporting more women to get back into the workplace whilst giving partners the option to care for their child.

You can watch the video announcement from Nick Clegg here


separator

Vetting & Barring changes – 3 things employers will NEED to know

/ 0 Comments

From 10 September 2012, a number of amendments to the vetting and barring scheme came into force. For those who don’t about Vetting & Barring, to sum up, it is a law which is designed to protect vulnerable individuals. If you are an employer it is essential you know about these changes.

3 things you need to know:

  1. There is no longer a duty to refer information to the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) in relation to individuals carrying out “controlled activities”, ie roles that are not regulated activities but that allow holders the opportunity to have contact with vulnerable groups or to have access to certain records relating to vulnerable groups.
  2. The definition of a “regulated activity” in relation to children is narrowed and covers fewer job roles.
  3. The Act amends the definition of a vulnerable adult as well as what constitutes “regulated activity” in relation to them.

For more information about the changes, you can download a pdf from the home office website here


separator

Government announces new type of Employment Contract

/ 0 Comments

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has announced plans for the introduction of a new type of employment contract, called an ‘owner-employee’ contract.

With these new types of contracts employees would give up their rights on unfair dismissal, redundancy, the right to request flexible working and time off for training. Also included is the requirement to provide 16 weeks’ notice of a firm date of return from maternity leave, instead of the usual 8 weeks.

In exchange for this, employees will be given between £2,000 and £50,000 of shares that would be exempt from capital gains tax.

‘Owner-employee’ contracts will be optional for existing employees, but established businesses & new start-ups can choose to offer only this type of contracts for new hires.

Legislation to bring in the new type of contracts will come later this year so that companies can use them from April 2013.

You can read more in the government’s press release.


separator


separator
MENU