Our Crime Team recently posted an informative blog The Police are investigating me – what happens now? explaining what to expect when you are subject to a police investigation. If you are facing a criminal investigation by the police or another authority, you may be unsure about whether you need to tell your employer, and if you do, what the consequences may be.
In most cases an employee will not be required to inform their employer if they are under criminal investigation. However, there are some jobs where employees may find they have a contractual and / or regulatory duty to do so. For instance this may apply to people working in financial regulated sectors or those working with children or vulnerable adults. So, if you have been arrested, or are the subject of criminal investigation, you must check if you are under an obligation to notify your employer.
If you are being investigated you will of course be worried that your job is at risk. In some sectors, an employer will not be able to continue your employment if you are convicted or cautioned for certain offences. For instance you may be a courier driver who faces loss of their licence. It may be that your employer could offer you alternative employment, so even if you are not obliged to tell your employer when you are under criminal investigation, you may want to consider informing them early so that they can look at an alternative placement within the firm.
It is not uncommon to find yourself subject to a disciplinary process at work, even though the criminal investigation is ongoing and unresolved. This raises issues concerning the risk of self-incrimination that will need careful consideration. You may need to balance a duty to cooperate with your employer, with not compromising a criminal investigation.
If the investigation leads to charge and even conviction, you should be assured that this does not mean you will necessarily lose your job. If the offence is unrelated to your work, it may be that your employer can not justify disciplinary proceedings or dismissal. Your employer must consider factors such as the impact on the employment relationship or whether there is a risk to the reputation of the business. Your employer must conduct any proceedings taken properly and give you a fair opportunity to respond to allegations.
The stakes are high, and there will be difficult factors to balance. You should make sure that you are getting the best possible legal advice in relation to your criminal matter. Your solicitor can help you to gather together and present the information necessary for any interaction with your employer. You should also ensure that you seek the highest quality advice in relation to your employment so that you can be protected from an unfair process which puts your job at risk.
With so many issues to consider, and such different rules applicable in different professions, it is vital that you have the best advice and information before moving forward.
If you are subject to a criminal investigation and are worried about any potential implications on your employment do not hesitate to contact us. Our Employment, Financial Crime & Regulatory and Criminal Defence Teams are well placed to advise you. We are experienced in working together to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients.
To speak to our experts please call 0808 252 5231 or request a call back online.