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When a problem arises in the workplace that cannot be resolved informally or quickly, it is important that the matter is dealt with fairly and in accordance with the employer's disciplinary and grievance procedures where appropriate. Essential to this is carrying out a properly conducted investigation that allows the employer to consider all the relevant facts and to reach an informed decision.
For example, in a potential disciplinary investigation, a flawed or incomplete examination of the evidence can leave the employer exposed to the risk of a claim for unfair dismissal.
The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) has updated its guidance on conducting workplace investigations. This outlines the essential decisions and actions employers of all sizes must take when deciding to carry out an investigation and gives guidance on conducting each stage of the process.
The guidance, which can be found at http://www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/o/5/Conducting-workplace-investigations.pdf, is intended both as a resource for those with experience of conducting investigations and as a suitable reference document to assist in training those who are new to the process.
Acas also provides the following free investigation templates and letters: