We undertake internal investigations following a range of incidents and events. This policy lays down the procedure to be followed when an internal investigation needs witness statements from staff or from those who are or may become the subject of the investigation.
This policy aims to ensure that all investigations are carried out promptly, in a fair manner to all involved, allowing you or those involved to respond to the allegations.
The aim of an investigation is to gather information to find out the facts of a case. This will include interviewing you and all relevant witnesses, taking statements or notes of meetings, obtaining documents, e.g. employment records, and contacting outside agencies, bodies and individuals, as appropriate.
An investigation officer will normally be appointed by your Director or nominated Head of Service in line with the relevant HR policy. Wherever possible, the investigating officer will be independent of the incident, any employees involved and experienced in carrying out investigations. In some circumstances it may be necessary to appoint an investigation officer professionally qualified, e.g. where the incident involves children, young people or adults who are vulnerable.
The investigation will not be conducted by the officer responsible for taking any formal action that arises from the investigation.
Once an investigating officer has been appointed a HR Advisor will be allocated to offer advice and support by the Assistant Chief Executive (People Management) or a nominated representative.
If you are absence from work because of sickness this does not always mean you are unfit to give a statement. Advice may be needed from an Occupational Health Advisor (OHA) to assess you are fit to be interviewed. You will be asked to consent to the release of information by the OHA after the referral.
Where OHA confirms you are unfit to be interviewed or to make a statement, you can ask a recognised trade union representative or a work colleague to speak on your behalf or to submit a written statement.
If you do not attend the OHA appointment or refuse to give consent to the release of information, a decision will be made on whether to continue with the investigation on the information available.
If you are the individual under investigation you should to be informed in writing that an investigation is going to be carried out and the reasons why.
If during the investigation further allegations need to become part of the investigation then you must be told in writing as soon as this becomes clear.
In investigations where it is not clear at the beginning whether any action may follow but this changes during the investigation you must be told in writing.
If you are the employee being investigated you can ask to be accompanied by a suitable workplace companion (independent of the investigation) at the investigation stage. A companion can be a trade union representative or official, or a work colleague.
If you are asked to make a statement as part of an investigation you are required to provide all the facts and sign the statement as a true record. You will have a chance to amend the statement with the agreement of the investigation officer and/or to add further information.
The investigation officer will be responsible for ensuring that you have every opportunity to reply to questions. If you chose not to reply the investigation officer will continue the investigation with the information available.
It is not possible to decide how long it will take to complete an internal investigation. However, investigations officers should aim to be complete it as soon as is practically possible dependent on how difficult or complex the case is.
When the investigation officer has finished the investigation s/he will provide a report to the Commissioning Manager with the finding and recommendations.
The Commissioning Manager’s will read the report and decide if any further action is needed and let you know the outcome. This may include making arrangements for a disciplinary hearing.
Support and counselling may be offered to you if you are involved in an investigation, either as a subject or a witness. Please contact People Management HR team for advice.
This policy must be applied consistently to all employees irrespective of race, colour, ethnic or national origins (including citizenship), language, disability, religion, belief or non belief, age, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, parental or marital/civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity.
If you have any equality and diversity concerns in relation to the application of this policy and procedure, please contact a member of the HR Team who will, if necessary, ensure the policy/procedure is reviewed accordingly
Page updated: 23/03/2021 14:24:04