Workplace investigations

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Gateley Legal

When dealing with a serious workplace issue – whether this be an allegation of bullying, a conduct issue, a grievance, or whistleblowing – a thorough workplace investigation is critical for effective resolution. Get this wrong, and it can have wide ranging financial, legal and reputational ramifications. The legal framework can be complex, as can be the matters which need investigating.

What do we do?

Our skilled team are regularly instructed by private and public sector clients to support internal investigations, and – where an internal investigation is not practical or appropriate – conduct independent investigations on their behalf. 

Our employment lawyers have extensive experience advising on sensitive and complex people management issues across a variety of sectors, including those which are unionised or subject to specific regulatory frameworks.

We advise on and undertake workplace investigations relating to issues involving:

  • grievances;
  • disciplinary cases;
  • performance or capability;
  • bullying and harassment;
  • whistleblowing;
  • dignity at work; and
  • discrimination.
Your professionalism throughout and attention to detail has been exemplary, and I have no doubt this was instrumental in us resolving the case to such a positive outcome. From the moment you got involved, the burden on me to be driving this forward has been lifted and from then on it was a very straightforward process.

Supporting internal workplace investigations

The reputational, legal or financial stakes for an organisation can be high in such circumstances. We assist employers to plan an appropriate and thorough investigation and provide ongoing advice throughout the investigation process. This includes practical guidance and day-to-day support for the investigator, plus legal advice on the workplace investigation and any applicable framework. We also review the documents or reports produced and advise on next steps through to the conclusion of the internal processes.

Conducting an independent workplace investigation

An internal workplace investigation can be extremely time consuming, taking senior managers away from their core day job, potentially leading to delays and exposing the organisation to unnecessary liability. As workplace investigation experts, we can undertake this work on your behalf on an impartial, independent basis. Our expertise of the legal issues involved and the independent status of the investigation may reduce the risk of litigation, show that the business is taking the matter seriously, and also free up management time. Our fixed fee arrangements are cost effective due to our experience of conducting efficient workplace investigations without delay.

Workplace investigation training

Our skilled practitioners are also able to provide training on the workplace investigation process and how to conduct an effective workplace investigation including: 

  • when to investigate
  • the role and responsibilities of an investigator
  • how to plan – including consideration of any collective agreement or legal framework
  • the 5 Ws – What? Who? When? Where? Why?
  • preparation and conducting the investigation, including interview techniques
  • common problems or mistakes and how to avoid them
  • decision making – assessing and evaluating your options
  • the report and any recommendations
  • next steps after concluding the investigation.

Who do we help?

We advise private and public sector clients, including those is unionised sectors or those subject to specific regulatory frameworks, on workplace investigations. 

Got a question? Get in touch.