Can you outsource workplace investigations?

Yes you can outsource workplace investigations. Many employers worry that a tribunal would frown on a decision to bring in an external workplace investigator. Bringing in a specialist independent investigator means though that you are much more likely to be able to show a reasonable investigation has been carried out. An investigation which has focused on the facts and has provided you with a sound base for the decision that you have made is key.

Workplace investigations can take place for any number of reasons

  • grievances raised
  • disciplinary matters
  • bullying and harassment claims

But tribunals have most to say on disciplinary investigations.

The ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures states that “employers should carry out any necessary investigations to establish the facts of the case”.

That doesn’t mean that an employer has to do the investigation themselves. It means that you can outsource workplace investigations.

Whoever carries out a workplace investigations

  • must have no involvement whatsoever in any decision making
  • is likely to be called to present their report should there be a hearing
  • should have no awkward history with the employee who is the subject of the investigation

Whoever carries out a workplace investigations

  • the workplace investigation
  • the hearing
  • the appeal

If not you can outsource workplace investigations to bring in that impartiality and objectivity

Do you have available managers but they lack the experience to carry out “reasonable, fair and impartial” investigations? It’s reasonable to outsource the workplace investigation to someone who is experienced at conducting workplace investigations. An employment tribunal will take individual circumstances into account when considering an employer’s decision.

A word of warning though, never let an external workplace investigator decide on a disciplinary sanction, that responsibility must remain with the employer.

Do you have a matter that may warrant an independent workplace investigation?

Do you want to ensure that any workplace investigation that you implement is thorough, reasoned and impartial? Call Metis HR now on 01706 565 332 or email us in confidence to discuss how you can outsource workplace investigations. We don’t charge for an initial consultation.

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