Workplace investigations

Workplace investigations must be conducted properly to avoid legal and reputational repercussions.

Our independent HR investigators can help.

Workplace investigations

The purpose of an HR investigation is to enable the employer to understand the full facts of a matter or incident and allow fair, objective and informed decision-making to bring the matter to a conclusion. 

But workplace investigations present considerable risks for employers.

HR investigations have to be handled fairly and employers should follow ACAS guidance on disciplinary and grievance matters.

Mishandling an employment investigation can influence the outcome and impact of a workplace dispute, and the process followed may be subject to future scrutiny should the matter result in a tribunal claim.

Failure to follow a proper and consistent investigation process can lead to tribunal claims and allegations of unlawful discrimination, detriment on the grounds of whistleblowing, data protection breaches and defamation.

Handling workplace investigations correctly is not only a legal obligation; consistent and fair treatment of employment investigations is important in promoting positive workforce relations.

Independent HR investigation services

Conducting an employment investigation internally is not always a practical or appropriate solution.

In-house HR teams may lack the bandwidth, expertise or experience of conducting internal investigations, particularly where the dispute is complex or sensitive in nature.

The investigator should not be involved in the matter that is subject of the investigation, or in the final decision-making process, to ensure fairness and credibility. 

And since every investigation is different, multiple issues can arise, requiring specialist insight to ensure the organisation complies with its obligations throughout the process.

In these circumstances, it makes sense for employers to work with external, independent HR investigation specialists.

We can help

At DavidsonMorris, we have substantial experience in supporting employers with all types of workplace investigations.

As experienced independent HR investigators, we help employers comply with their legal obligations while supporting positive workforce relations.

Acting in an ethnical, transparent manner and with the utmost care and confidentiality, our team of specialist employment lawyers and HR professionals provide a fully comprehensive independent investigation service covering all manner of workplace disputes and allegations including:

  • Grievance and disciplinary matters
  • Bullying and harassment
  • Whistleblowing
  • Compliance concerns
  • Serious incidents
  • Company policies & procedures concerns 


We bring together an in-depth understanding of the ACAS guidance with technical employment law knowledge on issues such as legal privilege to deliver a transparent, robust and cost-effective investigation on your behalf: 

  • Gathering evidence
  • Conducting witness interviews 
  • Matters involving criminal proceedings
  • Producing investigation report
  • Upholding confidentiality 
  • Objective, transparent & ACAS compliant


Whether you’re a large organisation and your HR team does not have the capacity to take on an investigation, or if you’re a smaller employer without the expertise to conduct a fair investigation, we can help.

We will carry out the investigation efficiently and with minimal disruption to the organisation and present the findings within a comprehensive report with conclusions, which can be relied on by the organisation to make a fully informed decision on the matter.

For more information about our workplace investigation services, contact us

Workplace investigation FAQs

What is a workplace investigation?

A workplace investigation is used to establish the facts relating to significant wrongdoing, misconduct or ethical lapses at work, usually as part of the organisation's grievance and disciplinary procedure. The investigation findings are used for the employer to make an informed decision on the matter.

What are employees' rights during an investigation?

Employers must ensure that the investigation process is fair and confidential, that any relevant internal policies are followed, that as much evidence and information is gathered as possible to support informed decision-making, and that the process is not designed to prove guilt but to establish full facts.

How do you conduct an investigation at work?

First, establish if an investigation is necessary, then scope out what is to be investigated before fact-finding and gathering evidence. The findings should form the basis of a report which the decision-maker uses to determine the outcome of the investigation, which may be disciplinary action or other relevant follow up activity.

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