Case Study: Gross Misconduct

The Issue

The company has found that invoices and bank statements do not agree and HR is called in to deal with what appears to be fraudulent activity.

The Approach

From the outset, it was important to minimise the people involved to ensure everyone was treated fairly while gathering the evidence needed. HR works directly with the Managing Director and Finance Team Manager to quickly establish the facts and decide on next steps.
As a precaution, every stage is documented from the start to ensure all compliance needs would be met should the investigation lead to disciplinary action at a later date.

The Outcome

Working alongside the company’s bank, HR is able to establish exactly who was involved in the incident as well as uncovering further amounts which appear to have been stolen from the company.
Despite the evidence, the employee initially denies involvement. In consultation with management, HR decides not to contact the police at this point, opting instead to try to resolve the issue directly with the employee.
With the support of the employee’s family, the lies surrounding the situation were exposed revealing a situation which had quickly got out of control. Much of HR's work involves handling the many difficult conversations with those involved to ensure the best outcome for everyone.
HR is able to signpost the employee to an appropriate therapist and the money was repaid to the company in instalments and in full.

The Impact

During the process, HR also discovers that the employee involved had bragged about scratchcard wins to several colleagues. This discovery leads to a staff awareness campaign about gambling and allows the company to support employees in recognising and dealing with any potential addictions early.
The incident also leads to an internal review of the finance process to make it more robust, as well as running financial management training courses for staff to embed expectations and build confidence in their working practices.
The attention to the needs of all parties leads to beneficial outcomes for all parties that might not otherwise have been achievable.
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