Investigation into improper behaviour

In this ‘me-too’ era, we are seeing a rise in reports about behaviour that violates moral standards. Frequently these are reports of improper behaviour on the work floor, such as (sexual) intimidation, bullying or discrimination.

We are of the opinion that investigating such reports, caution is necessary in order to avoid damaging, in advance, or wrongly, (the reputation of) persons, organisations and legal entities (‘guilt by investigation’).

We therefore adopt a phased approach in which we start by carrying out an inventory and exploratory investigation. This kind of investigation is of a general and closed nature; this means that, in principle, we do not approach any (external) persons or parties. We start our investigation with a dialogue (or interview) with the party which filed the complaint; this allows the party to shed light on his or her story as quickly as possible, so that the investigation can be geared to topics that really matter.

What’s more, our phased approach does not prejudice the required diligence of the investigation; after all, the correct focus is determined right from the start. Speed and focus are important in sensitive matters that may affect relationships between colleagues. At the end of each phase, in consultation with our client, we establish the status and progress in order to determine the next step.