Working for Competitors
Sentry Investigations Ltd's Birmingham corporate investigations are an effective solution to combat potential moonlighting situations within a business. If an employee is moonlighting or working for a competitor, not only is it likely to be in breach of his or her contract, it can have a hugely damaging effect on your business. It could be the simple fact that the employee is just working for a competitor, but it is more likely that the competitor is seeking information about your business regarding financial information and policies etc. Either way, an employee working for a company in direct competition to you is not going to do you any favours.
In some cases, employee's could be poaching clients and investors whilst undercutting your business. This is obviously going to have a disastrous effect on your business and could potentially put you out of business altogether. Generally, an employee that is doing this, will know full well he or she is in breach of contract. The practice of moonlighting involves deception and some very careful thinking to remain undetected. There will be high volumes of Email correspondents which can be tricky to monitor for an employer, but not impossible. Moonlighting usually involves face to face meetings in person which the employee will try and be very discreet about. Cases like these can be very complex if the moonlighter thinks about his or her every move. That being said, we have a high success rate in proving these cases in favour of the employer which has ultimately prevented many business's from ruin.
Moonlighting can be very difficult to spot from the offset, but we have put together a list of behaviours to look out for, and ways to defend your business from these types of contractual breaches. If you would like to discuss any potential moonlighting concerns you are having within your own business, feel free to give us a call and we will be happy to discuss your options.
Is your employee taking an unusual amount of sporadic absence at the moment? This could be for genuine reasons such as an illness, or bereavement, but it could also be to meet with future (your) clients for personal gain. Your employee could also be taking paid time off work from your business to simply work for another business. Look into, and be thorough when your employees are taking lots of time off, and start to question the employees if the absences are occurring once or twice a week. A moonlighter will need personal time to meet with clients and make plans. These meetings can of course take place online which will make things more difficult for any investigator however, generally clients or investors prefer to meet in person to build trust and relations.
Questions Out of Turn
Is your employee suddenly asking lots of technical product questions out of turn? It maybe he or she genuinely want to know something about a product your company offers, but if the questions don’t seem to fit the current environment, he or she could be collecting company product secrets and designs to share with competitors or his or her own future interests. Question the questions. Ask why your employee wants to know that right now.
It is always advisable to share access to company email accounts. The main reason for this is to pick up the slack during absences etc, but it may be a powerful form of evidence if your employee is communicating with a clients or investors inappropriately. This is not full proof as the employee can quite simply communicate via other email accounts, but it's something. Shared access can also be a way of monitoring what system files are being opened and shared. This is a much stronger form of defence because it a business can simply observe when and where trade secrets and designs have been accessed or moved. With this linked up with Email monitoring, you can keep a close eye on your designs.
Loss of Clients
Are you suddenly losing clients or employees unexpectedly? If this happens, find out why. It may simply be that they are moving on, but it could be an employee of yours poaching them for their own business interests. Question your associates to find out why they are moving on from your business.
This is the very first form of defence. A CV is going to paint someone as the Mona Lisa but it will be accompanied by some references. Ensure you check these references with a fine-tooth combe. Many businesses fail to follow up on references which could have saved them some serious problem down the line. A reference could in fact paint a potential employee with their true colours giving you as a business a much better idea of who you are about to take on. During the stages of interview, really get to know the applicant. Try and get an understanding of past employment and future plans as it could give some insights of what to expect from this person if you do decide to take them. Ask detailed questions and don't just listen to the answer, observe how they answer.
The next form of defence is a carefully written contract and non-disclosure agreement (NDA). This will put things in place from the start of what you expect as an employer and what the employee should be abiding by. Should the employee be in breach of contract at any point, you will already have a prepared legal standing to file proceedings.
Get in Touch
As mentioned, it can be difficult to spot a potential case of moonlighting but if you suspect anything is going on, or you are starting to notice things out of the ordinary that are, or could potentially affect your business negatively, then it is advised to call in a professional corporate investigator Birmingham. A gut feeling can be the thing that saves your business from ruin. It is your business and you must protect it.
If you suspect moonlighting within your business, and you believe you need to hire a Birmingham private investigator (or the further West and East Midland regions), then get in touch with the details and leave the rest to us.