Making use of a corporate or private investigator may come across as quite a daunting or even dodgy prospect. The truth is, many business owners are unaware of the laws and regulations surrounding employee-based investigations and as such, they are rarely considered when a business is going through serious internal problems. That being said, actually finding a legally compliant investigator can have its own problems, which is why it is always advised to approach a professional body when seeking investigative services.
The benefits of utilising a corporate investigator can quite literally save a company from going under. Employees are taken on under good faith but at the same time, they can have some fairly sinister intentions.
Some of the types of investigation which are focused on in the corporate sector are...
• Employee absenteeism
• Fraudulent workplace injuries
• Moonlighting/working for competitors
• Theft from the workplace
• Industrial espionage
• Falsified CV’s
Running a business comes with many problems and challenges, but if employees are deliberately acting for their own financial or personal interests, the business owner may not have the time, knowledge or skillset required to conduct a thorough investigation. Corporate investigators can alleviate such additional workloads but more importantly save a business from financial ruin.
A professional and GDPR compliant investigation should always start with a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA). This assessment must be completed in order to satisfy the legitimate interest as to why an employee is being investigated in the first place. Usually for corporate investigations an employee is suspected of being in breach of contract, which does give the employer the legal right to investigate (or gather evidence/data) in a way in which outweighs the fundamental data protection rights of the employee (or data subject). If a business owner is seeking assistance from a corporate investigator who does not mention, let alone complete a DPIA (there are many out there who won’t), then that business owner should run a mile as he or she will be putting his or her business at further unnecessary legal, financial and reputational risk.
Be under no illusion, there are some grey areas of investigation where even Sherlock Holmes would need to seek some advice, but a professional investigator will indeed seek the advice rather than just operating in a rogue manner. Corporate and private investigators are not the police or Mi5, and they have the same amount of investigative powers as the business owner he or she is working for. This is why it is imperative that investigative services are sourced through the previously mentioned professional bodies who provide sound advice, guidance and support to the investigator where needed.
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