United Kingdom: Criminal issues in employment investigations

In brief

In a recent article for Compliance & Risk Journal, we explore the issues involved with investigating criminal conduct by employees. We also suggest ways of addressing those concerns, recognising that the employer is often involved in a delicate balancing act involving juggling different types of related risk.


Key takeaways 

The unwelcome news that one of your employees has been accused of a criminal offence often triggers an investigation and action by the employer, particularly if the allegations are connected to the employment environment itself. Additional concerns will arise if the offence was committed by an employee acting in the course of their duties, or in a specific capacity that could raise issues of corporate criminal liability. 

Employers need to understand the context and nature of the allegations and consider the impact of any regulatory requirements, even for apparently minor offences. There may also be serious reputational risks that will need to be considered. Where the alleged victim is employed by the same employer, that individual will need support, but may also qualify as a whistleblower.   

In addition to any internal investigation, employers may have to liaise with regulators, police or other external agencies, and procedures are further complicated by questions of timing and control of the investigation, while any dismissal may be career-limiting (or even career-ending), so employers must conduct a particularly careful investigation if they wish to avoid a finding of unfair dismissal.

Click here to access the full article and guidance for employers.

Contact Information
Rachel Farr
Knowledge Lawyer
Mandy Li
Knowledge Lawyer

© 2021 Baker & McKenzie. Ownership: This site (Site) is a proprietary resource owned exclusively by Baker McKenzie (meaning Baker & McKenzie International and its member firms, including Baker & McKenzie LLP). Use of this site does not of itself create a contractual relationship, nor any attorney/client relationship, between Baker McKenzie and any person. Non-reliance and exclusion: All information on this Site is of general comment and for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal and regulatory developments. All summaries of the laws, regulation and practice are subject to change. The information on this Site is not offered as legal or any other advice on any particular matter, whether it be legal, procedural or otherwise. It is not intended to be a substitute for reference to (and compliance with) the detailed provisions of applicable laws, rules, regulations or forms. Legal advice should always be sought before taking any action or refraining from taking any action based on any information provided in this Site. Baker McKenzie, the editors and the contributing authors do not guarantee the accuracy of the contents and expressly disclaim any and all liability to any person in respect of the consequences of anything done or permitted to be done or omitted to be done wholly or partly in reliance upon the whole or any part of the contents of this Site. Attorney Advertising: This Site may qualify as “Attorney Advertising” requiring notice in some jurisdictions. To the extent that this Site may qualify as Attorney Advertising, PRIOR RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE A SIMILAR OUTCOME. All rights reserved. The content of the this Site is protected under international copyright conventions. Reproduction of the content of this Site without express written authorization is strictly prohibited.