Your most crucial role as an HR when investigating an office incident is to be a mediator between the parties directly involved. That’s why it’s important to examine every angle of the story, from every employee relevant to the case (complainant, accused, and witness/es). One procedural way of doing this is issuing a Notice to Explain to an employee-in-question.
The Notice to Explain is a legal document that requires an employee to explain his/her involvement in an alleged incident. It provides them an opportunity to diligently study the allegations against them, make consultations, gather data and evidence that they can raise against the complaint.
The following must be clearly stated in the letter:
The Incident Report
It is important to state what the incident is and when it happened to provide a strong context to your letter. Note that the incident report to be included/attached should be a version wherein the witness/es identity would not be disclosed.
The Accompanying Evidence
All available evidence that could support the alleged incident should also be prepared and attached. This will give credibility to your incident report.
Your Company Code/s or Rule/s that has been allegedly violated
It is also of utmost importance to ground the claims of your letter on your company’s code of conduct/set of rules so you could specify the violation that has been allegedly committed. If needed, you can also back your claims on Article 282 of the Labor Code that outlines violations.
What Happens When Your Employee Refuses to Sign/Receive?
Your employee can refuse to sign/receive this letter, thus it should also be stated that in refusing to sign and receive, your employee waives his/her right to be heard.
Here’s a Notice to Explain template you can download for your reference: Notice to Explain Template
Lastly, a Notice to Explain memo shouldn’t be viewed negatively. You should make a positive impression that receiving this is actually an opportunity to clear your employee’s name.