When an employee comes to you with a complaint, it’s a difficult time for you and for them. You have a duty to make sure you investigate thoroughly, fairly and without bias. Not only is this important in getting to the bottom of what’s happened, it’s also necessary legally in the event the complaint cannot be resolved and the employee takes legal action.
As part of your investigation, you’ll need to talk to other people involved. More than just talking, however, you’ll need to keep a record of your investigation. What is a written report and why is it important?
A written report contains all details of the investigation
It should give an executive summary of the investigation and the reasons why it is necessary. It should contain a complete history of what was done by the investigator and when with supporting evidence. It should then explain what the outcome was and why this decision was made.
Why is a written report necessary?
There are many benefits to employers in making sure you complete your investigation with a written report. You may have many separate pieces of evidence and other materials that you have collected. It helps you to categorize them and note what was relied on and what wasn’t.
Some of the other benefits include:
- Providing a one-stop document explaining the investigation from start to finish. This makes it easy for an independent party to review what action you took and why. They’ll be able to see the analysis given for how the matter was concluded.
- The report made was sufficiently serious and action needs to be taken as a result. If, for example, the conduct raised was so serious that it resulted in the termination of a staff member, this report can be used as supporting evidence in an employment claim bought by that individual.
Facing an investigation can be a challenging and time-consuming process. Having legal assistance can help you to make sure you’re getting it right and protecting your business.