We have an employee who joined us in summer 2008 and was offered a £8,000 relocation package. He has used the majority of this now and has spent it on renting a room in a house, travelling between here and his original location. He has a partner in the original location (100+ miles away) and has not yet put his house on the market as he has been told “it is not the right time”.
Last week on Tuesday he dashed off for a ‘handover’ at lunchtime and we believe he gave back the keys to his room in the house.
On Wednesday I came into the office early at 7.30am and happened to notice his car was fully iced up and his car was full of items from the house such as a mattress etc. I voiced my concerns to the office manager (we are a small organisation so she deals with HR too, I am another senior manager), who then checked the building alarm and noted that it had not been set all night. We decided not to say anything, basically to give him the benefit of the doubt and hope that it was a one-off before he took some stuff back to his main house. He was away the rest of the week on business so nothing further happened.
However, this Monday night the alarm has not been set again and we suspect he has slept here again. She has yet to check last night’s alarm.
The employee concerned has financial difficulties as he has taken a lower paid job than he had before and his outgoings far exceed his income (i.e. he handed a bank statement in with his expenses and the mortgage payment alone is in excess of his take home pay from us). He had previously mentioned giving up the room in the house and staying in a travelodge by the office when he is not travelling round the country but we are concerned that he is sleeping here to save money.
The situation deepens when you realise that he is the he is the chief exec, so there is no-one more senior for myself and the office manager to go to without going directly to the non-exec board.
There is also an issue with him having submitted ‘interesting’ mileage claims (some for excess miles, some for non-existant parts of journeys) which I have the pleasure of going through with him this afternoon.
Plus the issue that he is conducting a detailed financial review of the organisation that we suspect will involve redundancies, the office manager in particular is very worried about her position. I am less worried about my position but the possibility is still there.
My tack is that we should give him the chance to get out of this, with the mileage I am going to say “I think you made a mistake our policy is x” and correct it. Then keep a really close eye on the rest of his claims.
I have told the Office manager to perhaps ask him who was in the office last on the two nights in question and say that they didn’t set the alarm. That gives him a chance to own up, or a chance to at least realise we know what is going on. We will of course document our concerns and what is said or not. If it continues or happens again then we would inform the board.
Is the above the right approach to take? Myself and the office manager are not HR trained and are in a really tricky situation. The ‘evidence’ we have is circumstantial, and even if he says “yes I slept in the office what are you going to do about it?”, where is it written that you can’t? I know obviously most people wouldn’t dream of it.
It is also extra tricky as he seems to be fairly sly and we don’t realy trust him.
I know this is very long, any help would be most appreciated.
Thank you very much