Theft in the workplace: Actionable or a load of hot air?

This afternoon, I returned to my chilly office to discover that my desk heater was absent. After a quick root round, it became clear that someone had borrowed it for a meeting room yesterday and forgot to return it. The mystery was solved and I’m back to being blasted with lovely, soothing warm air once again!

However, the experience did serve as a reminder of the number of times over the years when employers have rang to obtain advice about thefts in the workplace. And, no, I don’t mean borrowing items and forgetting to return them, as in the much tamer world of Canter Levin and Berg but, rather, intending to steal items. Obviously, this can occur either against the Company’s property or between colleagues.

So, how can an employer turn up the heat in pursuing a potential thief?

Can the privilege that covers protected conversations under section 111A ERA be waived?

No, held the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Faithorn Farrell Timms LLP v Bailey, giving the first appellate judgment on protected conversations. Protected conversations are a mechanism whereby employers can enter into discussions concerning the proposed termination of an employee’s employment where there is no existing ‘dispute’ (i.e. that there are no ongoing formal disciplinary/capability issues).…