Investigations

Workplace investigations
This process is used where a party is facing a situation of conflicting information and/or a lack of information and need an objective assessment.

Forensic investigations
These services are aimed to provide scientific scrutiny of evidence to assist parties to determine a way forward.

Workplace investigations under the auspices of Tokiso
Guideline for panellists and clients

What is an investigation?  An investigation (also known as fact-finding) is a systematic collection of facts for the purposes of describing what occurred and explaining why it occurred. An investigation is usually initiated because a party or parties are facing a situation of (1) conflicting information and/or (2) a lack of information and need an objective finding on the facts.

How do I scope what is required? Tokiso has standard terms of reference template to assist in guiding the content of the investigation. It is always advisable to only commence the investigation once terms of reference have been signed by the initiating party/parties.

Can Tokiso assist in scoping the investigation? Yes. Tokiso shall do so without determining any substantive issues. Where the matter is complex and/or relates to a sensitive issue and/or involves several parties, Tokiso can facilitate a meeting to determine terms of reference. Tokiso can also assist in appointing an appropriate panellist/s to conduct the investigation.

Does Tokiso do forensic investigations? Yes. Tokiso can access independent specialist computer forensic specialists to conduct digital forensic recoveries.

Who coordinates the interviews/document collection? This may be done by an internal company person if appropriate, otherwise Tokiso can provide coordination support services.

Why use Tokiso for investigations? Tokiso is independent in its approach to investigations, and:

  1. will never “build” a case for an employer, nor does it prepare a case for the employer. It takes an independent, objective view of the matter.
  2. encourages informality over formality – in compliance with the policies and collective agreements;
  3. encourages that, where appropriate, matters are resolved amicably or even by agreement; and
  4. our philosophy is to promote best practice and sound labour relations. Where appropriate, a Tokiso panellist may make recommendations beyond a (preliminary) finding, if it will assist the parties to improve relations and promote good practice.

What types of investigations are conducted?

Grievance investigation Disciplinary investigation Management/union initiated investigation Company initiated investigation
Purpose To make a finding on whether there is merit in the grievance, and to make a recommendation. Determine whether there is a prima facie case, or whether the employer has an obligation to pursue. To make a finding of fact based on the issue identified in the terms of reference. To make a finding of fact based on the issue identified in the terms of reference.
Who initiates Management, and if the union has submitted the grievance, preferably after consulting the union. Management (if union represents any affected employee, it is advisable to inform the union) Jointly by union and management Management (if union recognised, it may be advisable to inform the union)
Process First determine if investigation or hearing. If an investigation, through interviews and documents. Usually interviews and documents. As determined in the terms of reference. This may include forensic processes. As determined in the terms of reference. This may include forensic processes.
Outcome Prima facie findings of fact with recommendations. Determine whether there is a prima facie case against an employee on allegations. Terms of reference will determine the scope of outcome. Terms of reference will determine the scope of outcome.
Terms of ref required? Yes; the grievance submitted may constitute the terms of ref, read with the grievance process. Yes, read with disciplinary code & procedure. Yes, and is usually a collective agreement between management and the union. Yes

 

What if other issues arise outside the terms of reference? The investigator will usually note these issues, without making any findings, and may make process recommendations on those issues. This could also be done in a separate report if appropriate or covers confidential issues that do not pertain to the issues identified in the terms of reference.

Can Tokiso assist in preparing for and initiating hearings on behalf of the company/employee? No, this would conflict with Tokiso’s independence.

Who does the investigation report go to? The report will be sent to the person who booked the case, or as directed by the investigator.

How can Tokiso help? Panellists and clients are welcome to contact Tokiso for advice and guidance on the process at 011 853 6300 or info@tokiso.com.