How to reduce the risks associated with workplace investigation practices?

When faced with a complaint in an organisation, employers will often try and resolve the complaint themselves or will delegate the task to a junior manager. Resolving the matter can take many forms but if not handled correctly it can have significant financial, legal and reputational implications. Some of the most common mistakes that employers often make during the course of an internal workplace investigation can include:

  1. The forgoing of the pre-investigation planning stage and moving straight into investigation.
  2. The investigator chooses to morph the investigation and disciplinary steps into the same process.
  3. The investigator chooses to rely on "untested" information and therefore unduly favours one version of events and ignores discrepancies.
  4. Due to the fact that this is an internal investigation they are unable to establish a process that is perceived as independent and free of bias.
  5. Internal investigations can often be delayed, due to a number of reasons however, this "delay" can often fuel speculation and gossip therefore jeopardising appropriate disciplinary action.

Mistakes in investigations can end up being very costly for the employer and employee. The employer needs to consider what is the best approach and always take into account the needs of the business. One of the most significant considerations for employers is whether to engage an external investigator.

It may not always be appropriate or beneficial for the employer to engage an external investigator however a good investigator will induce confidence for both parties as the findings will be unbiased and independent.

Maighréad Kelly Management Consultant offers a range of supports for employers in the area of HR and Workplace Investigations. Maighréad is an experienced external investigator and is available to carry out investigations into complaints which can arise within an organisation from time to time. For more information on the services that Maighréad offers provide go to www.maighreadkelly.com or check out Maighréad’s experience on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/maighreadkelly/


Calling all Charities - 2019 is the year to get your house in order.......

The Charities Regulator intends that 2019 will be a “year of learning and preparation for charities” in relation to their new Governance code. All charities are expected to comply with the code by 2020 and, from 2021, all charities will be required to report on their compliance with the code on an annual basis, by filling out a (50 page) compliance record form.

So what does this mean? Well regardless of the size of your organisation all charities need to be firstly registered with the regulator, secondly they need to ensure that their board is fully aware of their responsibilities and thirdly they need to fill in and submit their compliance form. This Code replaces the previous voluntary code which was launched a number of years ago by a collective group of charities and is thankfully much more streamlined and easier to navigate. The code consists of six principles of governance. These are:

  1. Advancing charitable purpose;
  2. Behaving with integrity;
  3. Leading people;
  4. Exercising control;
  5. Working effectively;
  6. Being accountable and transparent.

Many small organisations have concerns that the code will add to their workload and is nothing more than a paper exercise. In the beginning, yes organisations will need to spend some time on completing the necessary paperwork and ensuring their organisation operates within the Charities Act 2009. But like everything in life, it is the thoughts of doing something which is more stressful than the actual task itself. Also it is important to remember that Governance is not a new concept, it is a core aspect of every company and organisation across the world. According to PwC corporate governance is “a performance issue,” because it provides a framework for how your company operates.

It is also important to remember that simply implementing the governance code isn’t the same as achieving success. Most examples of good governance have something in common, too: they’re built on a foundation of transparency, accountability and trust. When meeting with my clients I advise that they start the process now with their board otherwise they will only be adding to the stress by leaving it any longer. Also it is important to remember that boards are made up of voluntary members who might only meet 8 times in the year therefore that does not leave much time to get through the necessary paperwork.

Maighréad has been a Company Director since 2014 and is both experienced and knowledgeable in the area of governance and assessing governance compliance within organisations. She will work with your charity, organisation or social enterprise to help your CEO and board of directors to identify the areas of priority in order to be compliant with the Charity Regulators Governance Code. She will then provide you with support, assistance and guidance in order to address those priorities. For more information on the services that Maighréad provides go to www.maighreadkelly.com or check out Maighréad’s experience on https://www.linkedin.com/in/maighreadkelly/[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]