What is my first course of action when I believe my employee has stolen stock from work?

What is my first course of action when I believe my employee has stolen stock from work?

If you believe an employee has stolen stock from work, handling the situation carefully with professionally is vital.


Your first action should be to look to your company’s policies and procedures around theft and misconduct.

You MUST follow your companies exisiting policies and procedures. You should do this with support of an HR person and you may also need to consult with legal council or involve law inforcement depending on the situation. You should then begin to gather evidence and conduct a thorough investigation to determine if the employee has stolen the stock This could include :
  • reviewing security footage,
  • interviewing or speaking with other employees or witnesses, and
  • examining relevant documents or records.
Once you have gathered sufficient evidence, it is essential to follow the process outlined in your companies procedure. 
  • Talk to the employee in a private, professional manner.
  • Avoid accusing the employee of stealing outright, as this could lead to an emotional or defensive response.
  • Present the evidence you have collected and allow the employee to explain their actions.
  • Ensure they are given the opportunity to bring a support person, especially if the meeting impacts the future of their employment.
Ultimately, the course of action you take will depend on the specifics of the situation and the evidence you have gathered.
By handling the situation carefully and professionally, you can treat the employee fairly while also protecting the companies interest. If you need help with your policies and procedures or help with gatherine evidence and what to do next call We Love Tradies HR on 022 562 0069 or contact us by email.  Remember we’ve got your back.  
We Love Tradies HR Ltd blogs contains only general information about legal matters. It is not intended to be legal advice and should not be treated as, or relied on,  as such. For legal advice specific to your set of facts, please contact a lawyer appropriate to your legal issue.  
Cat Randle
Cat Randle

at Randle is an award-winning writer. She writes blogs for various audiences, including authors, charities, and professional companies. She helps hundreds of Tradies to relax and enjoy their weekends with We Love Tradies HR, internationally renowned HR solutions. She wants to save our planet because it's the only one with chocolate.

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