A Confidential Investigation Report is a document that shows the step-by-step process of defining the facts in an issue or incident. It also documents the case study, interpretation of data, shred of evidence, and the conclusion from the initial allegations.
The report contains the summary of findings of an investigated complaint or incident. All accumulated information and underways of the investigation will be kept confidential.
The content of this report serves as a guide for conducting an investigation. Format changes in this report may occur depending on the individual’s case.
Enter the department of the alleged person belongs to.
State the allegation or issue under investigation.
TYPE OF INVESTIGATION
Enter the type of investigation that will take place based on the company’s code of conduct.
NAME/POST OF EMPLOYEE(S) SUBJECT TO INVESTIGATION
Enter the name of the employee(s) to be investigated.
NAME OF COMPLAINANT
Enter the complainant’s name or the person who escalated the case.
Enter the name of the prosecutor(s) who will conduct the investigation.
HR SUPPORT LINK
Enter the Human Resources support link in your company.
State the reason why an issue or incident needs further action.
The background details help the investigator to identify the possible causes of the issue or incident by analyzing a brief history of the event. This is the vital part of knowing the roots and basis of an investigation.
REMIT OF THE INVESTIGATION
List in bullet points the allegations or concerns. This investigation will be expanded in the Findings section.
Explain how the investigation proceeded in examining the case study. This includes reasons for decisions that were made. The following shows the process of investigation:
- Write a brief description of the method(s) used to gather information.
- Show the documents/evidence were reviewed.
- Entail the timeline of each event.
- Document the record of interviews/statements were undertaken, when, and their appendix number within the bundled of evidence.
- Report the decision made even If the investigator has not interviewed all individuals suggested by the subject of the investigation.
Enter the name of the involved persons who witnessed the issue or incident.
This covers the summary of findings and observations:
- Present the findings for each point, allegation, or issue by affirming the facts upon the procedure of investigation, conformation of events, cross-referencing any documentation, and emphasis of small factors that affect or aggravate the situation.
- Quote the statements directly from the parties involved. The investigator is obliged to analyze all testimonies and draw out available supporting evidence. Respondents are not coherent with their answers during an interview. Therefore, the investigator should interpret their words to posit the ideas and findings accurately.
- Report the significance of evidence that is yet inconclusive. The instigating manager wants to know if there is any evidence that supports the allegations and it is the investigator’s responsibility to clarify the relevance of the evidence.
Note: See the agreed remit of investigation to ensure that all points are covered.
The investigator concludes a reasonable belief based on facts and their assessment of evidence collected from the case study. The balance of probabilities should always follow the standard of proof for internal investigations and any subsequent disciplinary hearing or grievance meeting.
Each conclusion must be drawn as follows:
- For each allegation, incident, or issue shall provide an overall fact-based viewpoint, whether there is any evidence supporting the accusation or rigorous strength of the evidence.
- Conclusions must be supported with the strongest evidence. It should be clear and concise.
- Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the evidence to the reader, which also explains the value of small details and can lead to a different interpretation.
- Draw out key facts demonstrating particular breaches of policy, such as code of conduct, harassment, policies and regulations, and other procurement.
Provide the chronology of events, witness’s statements/testimonies, investigatory interview notes, organizational structure, medico-legal, etc.
Ensure that all information indicated is correct in this investigation report.
Sign and date the report by the investigating officer.
What are some tips whenwriting a Confidential Investigation Report?
- Start the report with case-specific information that identifies the issue or incident concisely. You must also include the investigator’s name, case number, the time and date stamp of the investigation.
- Cite the primary source or the complainant’s information, such as employee number, work phone number, email, office location, department, and job title. This identifies the person lodging the complaint.
- Determine the type of allegation and describe how the incident happened.
- You also need to provide the information of the subject or the accused person, such as the name, work phone number, email, office location, department, and job title.
- Provide a statement that pictures the objectives of the investigation.
- Ensure to include a brief description of the assigned task and action taken throughout the investigation.
- Document and make a list of investigation interviews during the investigation. The list should be in chronological order. See the outline below:
- Name of the interviewer
- Name of the respondent and their role in the investigation
- Location of the interview
- Date of interview
- Create interview reports to establish brief summaries of each investigation interview. This report elaborates the investigation to attain a credible assessment and investigator notes.
- Make a list of evidence. The data should show the following:
- Type of evidence: video, photo, recorder, cctv, email, etc.
- Name of the person who presented the evidence.
- Location of the evidence.
- Date of the collected evidence.
- Draw conclusions to determine the appropriate legal actions of the allegation. Make recommendations to back up the conditions outlined in the company’s code of conduct and action plan.
What is the purpose of a Confidential Investigation Report?
A Confidential Investigation Report is a document that takes legal actions based on the official findings. It may lead to the termination of employment, disciplinary proceedings, corrective action or written warning, counseling, and other actions drawn from findings. All information contained in an investigation report is cited in any legal action.
The report is also a record of procedures of the investigation that can be used as a piece of strong evidence for a conviction. Furthermore, the steps taken in an investigation may uncover additional questions and clarify thoughts that add significance to a case.
Once a case has been resolved, the investigation can be used as a new procurement for implementing new preventive measures and regulations in the company.
How do you write an investigation report?
Investigation reports in the workplace should be written in a straightforward, forthright manner and include any relevant background information about the incident or event being investigated. Here are the steps to write a confidential investigation report in the workplace:
- Obtain background information. After an incident occurs, talk to people who are knowledgeable of relevant details about the situation. For example, find out why company rules were being violated so that confidentiality can be maintained.
- Keep it simple and clear. Draft your report using active voice verbs instead of passive voice verbs because they sound more direct and authoritative. To strengthen your investigation report, use short sentences with simple words whenever possible. Avoid complicated words or phrases that might confuse readers. Try not to use long sentences because these will make the document hard to read and understand quickly. Also, avoid jargon or industry-specific language unless you are sure everyone reading your report is familiar with them. As much as possible, keep it simple even if you have to use regular words instead of technical terms.
- Format your document. Organize your report as if you were making a list: give the list of events, followed by actions taken and results achieved. The first section should be about what happened before the incident or event occurred, such as people involved and other important information that would help readers understand the circumstances better. The next section should include what was done and why, and any measures put in place after the fact to ensure similar incidents will not happen again. Finally, state the closing summary which includes recommendations for future use (such as providing training or counseling to employees who committed mistakes). You can also include an appendix at the end of the document where supplemental information is given such as names of people who were interviewed or written statements they provided.
- Make it clear. Ensure that the purpose of your investigation report is understood by everyone reading it. When writing, use "I" instead of "we" because this makes it personal and gives an impression that you are taking responsibility for what's included in the report. The tone should be factual but still maintain a sense of confidentiality about the matter at hand (which means avoid phrases like "he said", "she claims", etc.).
- Check for accuracy. After writing your investigation report, proofread all over again to make sure no grammatical error slipped through since these may lower its credibility as well as your authority. Get someone else to read your manuscript to get an unbiased opinion, especially if you are stressed out or biased due to strong emotions.
- Keep the document confidential. Make sure that everyone involved in the investigation understands not to share this document with anyone other than those who have a need-to-know basis for it. Hold on to your manuscript until after all recommendations have been implemented so you can destroy its copies if necessary.
What should an investigation report include?
An investigation report in the workplace must include the following information:
- The full name of the employee under investigation, and their position in the organization.
- The date on which the incident occurred.
- A comprehensive description of the incident. This must be detailed enough so that others could understand what has happened. The report also needs to include why was there a need for an investigation, any actions that have been taken after the alleged behavior was uncovered, and how these actions were carried out. In addition to this, it is important to mention how long did it take from when the report was made until when actual action had been taken against the accused person(s). If there were previous attempts at resolving the issue internally without involving HR professionals, these should be noted as well.
- The investigation report also needs to include what were the steps that have been taken by HR professionals in order to investigate this matter, and how they have carried out their investigation. The people who have been interviewed should be mentioned, as well as a list of documents that were reviewed during the course of this investigation.
- A conclusion must be reached based on all of these facts presented or gathered throughout the course of this investigation. If disciplinary action has already occurred against the employee(s), mention it in your report, including any actions towards rehabilitation if necessary.
- The report should be signed by both the HR professional who conducted the investigations by anyone else involved in reviewing it (the HR manager, for example).
Delivering the final report. This is an especially important part of executing this investigation in order to make sure that everyone involved knows what is expected of them. If disciplinary action has already taken place, it's essential to notify any managers who may supervise the employee (or employees) involved so that they are aware that there have been sanctions or other corrective actions applied. The next step would be to follow up on these sanctions regularly in order to ensure compliance with your company's policies and procedures. When delivering the final report, try not to come across as judgemental because you want the accused person(s) to feel comfortable telling you if anything else has happened which should be brought up or discussed further.
Can an employee see an investigation report?
In general, an employee has the right to see an investigation report when the investigation was not performed by a lawyer.
If you are an employee or former employee, then the first thing to request during the investigation is for you to be able to review the materials on which your employer based its decision. This should include all witness statements and documentation. Moreover, employers are not allowed to consult with co-workers (outside the investigation) when deciding whether or not to remedy.
And if for some reason, employers cannot immediately provide you with access to this information, then they need to give you an immediate response about when they will make it available.
If your employer does not allow you access to reports or responds that it is not available, then you can file a complaint with the Federal Labour Relations Authority.
Can my employer investigate me without my knowledge?
Employers do not carry out investigations unless there is a suspicion that an employee has committed serious misconduct. Such an investigation may lead to disciplinary action against the suspected employee, who then has the right to defend himself or herself.
Your employer may only carry out an investigation on you without your knowledge when you are absent from work without reason, or if you have given your consent to the investigation.
The employer may not record telephone conversations with employees or monitor internet activity on workplace computers without legal authority. If you believe that an investigation is illegal, for example, because your employer has eavesdropped on a telephone conversation with you, you can take legal action against your employer.
If criminal activities such as embezzlement or leaking of trade secrets are suspected, then the police will be called in and any suspects may be held for questioning by the police. If there is clear evidence that a serious offense has been committed at work, the police investigations may involve interviewing not only suspects but also their colleagues and your employer.
If the police suspect that a criminal offense has been committed (for example, if money or computer files were stolen from your workplace), then they can carry out an investigation without needing to have a search warrant. Police investigations may involve searching the suspect's home and examining his/her personal computer.
If you are suspected of having committed a criminal offense, the police may detain you for questioning (for example, for further investigation) without needing to obtain an arrest warrant from a court. The initial detention will last as long as it takes the police to investigate whether there is enough evidence against you to prosecute you before a court; this may be up to four (4) days.
If you are convicted of a criminal offense, the court can order that elements of your work contract be terminated, for example through dismissal or demotion. If your employer wishes to terminate your employment contract on this basis, he/she needs to file an application with the relevant Labor Court. The employee has the right to appeal against the decision of the Labor Court.
If you are dismissed, you may also be entitled to a severance allowance. The amount is calculated in accordance with your length of service and salary. Severance allowance is paid by your previous employer (the one that employed you at the time of dismissal). Any disputes regarding entitlement to severance allowance should be handled by the courts.
The law also establishes a "pre-dismissal" inquiry procedure, which can be used by employers who have a reasonable suspicion that an employee has committed a serious breach of their work contract. The aim of this procedure is to clarify whether there are any reasons for dismissing the employee – if there are, the employer can proceed with dismissal, while if there are no good reasons, the employee is fully reinstated. Any decision to dismiss made by an employer outside of this procedure may be judged unfair and the dismissed employee could receive compensation.
What happens when you’re under investigation at work?
When you are under investigation at work, there are several situations that you may face:
- You are the subject of a disciplinary investigation. In this case, your employer may wish to speak with you and provide you with details of the allegations against you. You should always cooperate fully and honestly with any requests for information and explanations from your employer and keep lines of communication open at all times.
- You have been accused of misconduct by a third party. Because of the nature of the allegations, for example, bullying or racism, your employer may be forced to act even if you formally deny the allegations. You should cooperate fully and honestly with any requests for information and explanations from your employer at all times.
- Your employer is investigating an incident that has affected other employees. In this case, the outcome of your employer's investigation may have a direct impact on other staff members who have been affected.
In these cases, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. The first thing to bear in mind is that, by law, you are not obliged to answer any questions put to you during an investigation unless your employer has given you prior knowledge that you might be disciplined or dismissed for failure to cooperate fully and honestly with their investigation. There is no obligation on an employee to provide a written or oral statement to their employer during their investigation, but they may do so if they wish.
It is therefore important to establish what your employer might be going through before you have any face-to-face engagement with them. If necessary, request a copy of the internal company procedures and read it carefully yourself before entering into any discussions. Many companies have standard procedures that they will follow when investigating complaints, but you should know what those procedures are and how the company expects them to be implemented.
What happens after an investigation at work?
After an investigation at work, your employer will come up with a conclusion. Your employer may also provide a corrective action plan. In general, you will face disciplinary action if you are found guilty of breaching your company's policy. This could be suspension or firing depending on the severity of the infraction.
What if an employee refuses to participate in an investigation?
It's not uncommon in investigations for an employee to refuse to participate, or even worse, ignore requests at all. Even when an employee refuses to participate in an investigation, though, HR must still gather all information relevant to the investigation. When a witness is uncooperative or even downright hostile, it's up to HR to gather as much information as possible using whatever means necessary.
How long can a disciplinary investigation take?
A disciplinary investigation at work can take up to six months. You should start this process as soon as you suspect that the incident could lead to disciplinary action, especially if it is serious.
As soon as you become aware of any facts that may provide the basis for a disciplinary allegation, put these allegations to your employee in writing and ask them whether they would like to respond to the allegations in writing. If they do, you must ensure that this response is made within 14 days.
What should an investigation report have?
An investigation report should have the following:
- Title Page — This is the first page that includes the title of the report, the names of authors or contributors, and the name or initials of their department or organization affiliation. It contains no heading information.
- Abstract — The purpose of an abstract is to give readers a brief overview of your report so they will know if they want to read it in detail later. The abstract should be written in an objective, informative style, with no references to your opinions or conclusions.
- Table of Contents — This is a sequential list of topics, by page number, covered in the report. It provides the same information found at the beginning of each chapter. Chapter titles are given here to indicate major divisions of the report.
- Statement of significance — This section describes the importance or significance of your work. It may include an estimate of the project's future benefits, its current stage of development, and its applicability to other problems in the field.
- .Introduction — The purpose of this section is to explain why you selected the problem you investigated, why you think it is important, and how your work relates to other research in the field. The introduction should be written in clear, concise language so that even someone who is not an expert on this area of research will understand what you were trying to do and how well you succeeded.
- Methodology — This section describes how you approached the problem, how you selected your population and research site, what data-collection instruments you used to obtain your results, and what statistical tests were appropriate. Include a brief description of any pilot studies or preliminary research that was done prior to the main study, as well as a summary of any methods used by other researchers.
- Results and discussion — Here you describe the results of your study. You should describe both your main findings and your secondary, or supporting, findings in detail. These are not just numbers with no explanation. They are important conclusions that have meaning for the problem under investigation.
- Conclusion — This section summarizes what you discovered during your research project. You should state what you learned, why it is important or significant to your problem, and how this new knowledge will affect future research in the field.
- References — The list of references cited in your report appears at the end of your paper as a bibliography that includes only those sources actually referred to as information supporting the findings or conclusions in your report. When done properly, a bibliography should help readers decide whether the items in it have been cited correctly and to find additional information about particular sources by consulting their references section or other bibliographic compilations.