Human Resource departments in large companies have never had it tougher. The modern generation of working adults change jobs more often, creating more work for hiring staff, processing them as they start, and then dealing with the end of contracts too. And as HR processes and policies have become tighter and better defined, it can leave HR departments facing an uphill battle to keep on top of every employee.
And while most employees will go through life dealing with HR minimally, there are sometimes problem staff who cause more headaches for HR advisors, or directors who need more stringent checks and processes when joining a business to make sure they aren’t causing any potential problems for the company in future.
Hiring more HR staff can help but these are permanent long-term decisions, which may not be necessary if you’re unsure of the future of the business and how it will scale. Plus, with much of the UK asking staff to work from home where possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be even tougher for Human Resources departments to keep tabs on any employees who could be presenting problems.
Enter the private investigator. Rather than taking on the added costs of permanent HR staff, a private investigator can help take the strain of some of the more intensive tasks or issues that would otherwise eat up a lot of hours. Or, they can tackle tasks outside the normal remit of an HR advisor. And during the Coronavirus pandemic they can be a vital helping hand in tackling issues that would normally come to light with everyone in an office environment.
Moonlighting and self-employment
The biggest issue with sending hundreds of employees to work from home is the lack of visibility in what they’re doing.
You pay your employees to work a set number of contracted hours, but it suddenly becomes unethical in the eyes of most workers if you start demanding proof of their time. The good employees – which will make up the majority of the workforce – will feel resentment if they believe they’re being spied on to ensure they’re working their hours.
Which means most companies don’t ask for this proof, and this then allows the bad apples to get away with more. You may be paying some of your employees while they work for a second company, or while they’re setting up their own self-employed career and potentially even looking to take clients from you.
This was an issue before the COVID-19 pandemic anyway – people set up side-businesses all the time, often in breach of contract and with a view to taking away clients.
This is where we can help. If you have a suspicion that one of your employees is working a second job or setting up on the side, we can help you gather the proof that you need to take further action.
Whether it’s just monitoring their activities, posing as a genuine-sounding customer for a self-employed business or even, in some of the more extreme cases, getting hired to your business to monitor activity ‘from the inside’, our services are vital for gathering evidence that is tailored to fit the required legal frameworks when you want to terminate someone’s contract.
Fraudulent sickness claims
We’re fairly certain that a large number of people have faked an illness before to take a day off work just because they didn’t feel in the mood. However, this can become a problem if it’s happening a lot, or for extended periods of time.
It’s very dangerous ground to start looking at disciplinary action for someone who is using too many sick days, as you may open up the company to legal action if the illnesses are genuine.
And then, during the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s even harder to identify when someone may be taking time off for an invented malady. Now, let’s be absolutely clear – we aren’t referring to anyone claiming they have Coronavirus when you suspect they may be lying. The COVID-19 pandemic is serious and affecting thousands of people. Targeting those would be a serious misjudgement ethically as you may end up accusing someone who is dangerously ill.
Yet if you know a serial offender, someone who was taking a lot of sickness time before working from home was a UK-wide policy, and they’re now claiming another illness or injury that you suspect may be fake and you know wouldn’t be insensitive if you wanted it investigating, we could help. Whether they’re faking an illness to enjoy more time outdoors, or to work on side projects and other self-employed ventures, we can help you gather evidence to prove they’ve been less than honest and help you build a solid case to consider termination.
If the company is hiring a new director externally, you’ll need to be careful. Directors have to stick to tough laws and cannot accept a directorship if it would prove to be a conflict of interest or if they are insolvent. It’s not always simple to identify when a director wouldn’t be eligible to join a company either, as the laws around it are complex.
Our team of private investigators are well-versed in background checks and vetting employees. We know what to look for in someone’s history and can raise any potential red flags, including relevant matters from their financial history or any other roles they may be fulfilling that could cause problems for your company.
Rather than putting your company in a position of risk further down the line, our extensive background checks will put you and your CEO’s mind at ease, so you can make sure the most senior staff on your team are right for the job.
There are many ways that private investigators can help businesses both during the COVID-19 pandemic and when things return to normality, and these are just some of those. At EJM Investigations we’ve a wealth of experience in handling corporate clients with sensitivity and efficiency. If you’d like to know more about how we could help you, or if you are interested in hiring us, just give us a call on 01772 334700.