Dealing with employees involved in the incident

Your investigation should consider the role of any employees involved in the incident. The conduct of the investigation may affect the fairness of any subsequent disciplinary action. You should keep the following points in mind:

  • it should be made clear that no decision on disciplinary sanctions will be taken until the conclusion of the disciplinary process, and the investigation should be conducted in a way consistent with this (see information on employment law considerations
  • if you need to suspend an employee to prevent alleged misconduct from continuing and/or prevent interference with the investigation, consider whether such action is necessary and reasonable.  Alternatives to suspension should be considered (click here for further information on suspension of employees)
  • if you are considering suspending an employee, you should consult and comply with local law, the contract of employment, relevant employee handbook and disciplinary policies
  • consider whether an employee’s access to IT systems should be suspended as well – this may be justifiable if there is a real risk to the business and/or the preservation of evidence. The extent to which this is possible will in large part depend on the laws of the relevant jurisdiction and what your internal policies say (click here for more information on suspension of IT access)
  • you should make it clear that suspension of IT access is temporary and that full access will be reinstated when the investigation and/or any disciplinary process is complete (depending on the outcome of the investigation and/or disciplinary process)
  • in some jurisdictions, you must inform the relevant data protection authority if you are using electronic devices to collect data concerning alleged unlawful behaviour or misconduct
  • if the employee holds special regulatory permissions/responsibilities, you may need to notify the relevant regulatory authorities (click here for more information on notification requirements)
  • for further information on dealing with serious employee misconduct, please click here