Workplace investigations and surveillance is in high demand. Ontario extended Paid Sick Days and IDEL (Infectious Disease Emergency Leave) for reasons related to Covid-19 until July 31, 2022.
Employers are dealing with an increase of paid time away from the office and want to ensure that these claims are valid. As workplace investigations have become a staple to determine fact, it’s valuable to know what steps to take to deem your investigation is successful.
Typically, employers request the assistance of a third-party workplace investigator to initiate the collection of information. Investigators use many tools such as surveillance, interviews, or the review of documentary evidence with computer forensics. During this phase of an investigation, evidence is also gathered by examining the employee, their location, actions, and potentially the interviewing of surrounding people. This fact-finding process is always best when we let modern technology do its part. Photographs and video are always important to investigations.
A professional investigative report will include the cause for conducting the investigation and how the information was gathered with examples. The nature of the concern may change throughout an investigation, so this should be documented vividly. The methodology of the investigator is important, along with their full recitation of the evidence gathered. It should clearly explain how conclusions were reached. Some workplace investigators may offer recommendations (non-legal advice) to the employer.
Whatever you do, don’t delay the investigation process. If you’ve established there is a need to know more, connect with a professional investigator to get started in a timely way.
Always remember, the purpose of the investigation is look into whether misconduct was committed not to confirm that misconduct was committed.
There are many instances when an employee may request paid time off in relation to Covid-19. Providing care for relatives or getting medical treatment for mental health reasons related to the pandemic even falls under the IDEL paid sick allowance.
As you start seeing more employees taking paid time off for Covid-19 testing, contact, and vaccinations, trust that there are professional support services to help you determine true and false claims.
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