workplace investigation

Has An Employee Made A Complaint That Needs To Be Investigated?

Are you weighing up whether to investigate the matter internally, and can you be confident an internal  investigation would be impartial?

If you conduct an internal investigation, you run the risk of one of the parties alleging the investigation was biased against them. 

Should the complaint end up in a Fairwork Australia hearing, are you confident an internal investigation would be seen as fair?

Since 2005 Jolasers Workplace Investigations has built a reputation for conducting thorough and decisive investigations into all types of workplace issues around Melbourne.


We have undertaken complex workplace investigations in the following areas:

  • Bullying

  • Harassment

  • HR Matters

  • Sexual Harassment

  • Fraud


As an independent and professional private investigations company, we are dedicated to revealing facts through meticulous evidence collection, detailed interviews, and comprehensive data analysis. Our approach ensures that every decision you make is informed and legally defensible.


We have conducted investigations in a multitude of businesses, including local government, universities, the disability sector, construction and numerous other small to medium sized businesses.


We have a long history of conducting workplace investigations where all persons involved believed they were treated fairly and with respect. This is important in limiting the damage to relationships in the workplace as much as possible. 

We believe that we can quickly build rapport with all persons involved and make the process as easy as possible for all persons involved. People are generally nervous when faced with a workplace investigation interview, and we try and make the process as pain free for all participants as possible, at the same time ensuring we obtain detailed and accurate information.

If you have received a complaint, you need to act fast as these types of issues tend to quickly escalate, and can be costly, especially if a person is suspended on full pay as a result of the complaint.


Contact us on 0418 101 164 today for a free initial confidential discussion.

Act now! Resolve any issues in your business quickly with Jolasers professinal workplace investigations.


Call Stephen Oliver anytime on 0418 101 164 to discuss your Melbourne Workplace Investigation needs.


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About Jolasers Workplace  Investigations

Jolasers Workplace Investigations  are THE Experts in All Things Related to Melbourne work place investigations. Do yourself a favor and get in touch with us right now.



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Different types of workplace investigations undertaken by Jolasers

Discrimination InvestigationA discrimination investigation is conducted when an employee alleges unfair treatment based on protected characteristics such as race, gender, age, religion, or disability. The investigation aims to determine if discrimination has occurred and to take appropriate action to address it.
Harassment InvestigationHarassment investigations are initiated when an employee reports unwelcome behavior, such as verbal, physical, or sexual harassment, creating a hostile work environment. The investigation aims to gather evidence, interview relevant parties, and take necessary steps to prevent further harassment and ensure a safe workplace.
Retaliation InvestigationRetaliation investigations occur when an employee claims adverse actions were taken against them in response to engaging in protected activities, such as reporting misconduct or participating in a workplace investigation. The investigation aims to determine if retaliation occurred and to protect the employee from further harm.
Misconduct InvestigationMisconduct investigations are conducted when an employee is suspected of violating company policies, rules, or ethical standards. The investigation involves gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and determining the appropriate disciplinary actions, which may include warnings, suspensions, or termination.
Whistleblower InvestigationWhistleblower investigations are initiated when an employee reports illegal or unethical activities within the organization. The investigation aims to protect the whistleblower, gather evidence, and take appropriate actions to address the reported misconduct, which may involve legal measures or internal reforms.
Workplace Violence InvestigationWorkplace violence investigations are conducted when there are reports or concerns about threats, physical assaults, or other violent incidents in the workplace. The investigation aims to assess the situation, ensure employee safety, and implement preventive measures to mitigate the risk of future violence.
How to Deal with a Workplace Investigations

A workplace investigation involves a detailed review of an employee’s conduct or performance at work. It is often initiated by the employer when they suspect an employee of misconduct.


Workplace investigations can be scary and challenging, but you don’t need to stress. There are strategies you can use to manage the process and protect your interests.

The scope of a workplace investigation may vary depending on the nature of your role or organisation, but it will almost always involve some form of verbal or document interview with HR representatives, colleagues, managers, or third-party investigators.


This article covers how a workplace investigation works, what kind of issues they usually involve, how to prepare for one and what to do if you receive notification that you’re being investigated at work.


What Is a Workplace Investigation?

A workplace investigation is a review conducted by HR, management or a dedicated Investigations company to understand an employee’s conduct or behaviour at work.


The workplace investigation may be initiated for a number of reasons, including:

– A complaint from a colleague, client, or customer.

– A serious accident or injury that may have been caused by an employee’s negligence.
– An allegation of sexual harassment or discrimination.
– Suspicion of fraud or theft of company assets.
– A major violation of company policies.
– An incident that may result in disciplinary action against an employee.
– Concerns about an employee’s ability to perform their role which may require reassignment due to health or safety reasons.


Reasons for a workplace investigations

Workplace investigations are not punishments, but an ordinary part of business. They are a way for organisations to resolve complaints and achieve a fair outcome.

When workplace investigations are conducted correctly, they can improve morale and trust in leadership, as well as protect employees from discrimination and other forms of misconduct.


There are a number of reasons why your employer may choose to open an investigation. It could be due to the nature of your work, a serious accident, or a written complaint. It may also be a result of company policy violations, fraud allegations, or a misunderstanding between you and a colleague or manager.


An employer will conduct an investigation if they suspect that an employee has done something wrong, even if the employee doesn’t think they have done anything wrong. They will be trying to find out what actually happened. It’s important to know that an employer should not assume that an employee is guilty just because they are conducting an investigation.


What happens during a workplace investigation?

In general, investigative processes is meant to be fair and balanced, but the particular process and outcome of each investigation can vary from organisation to organisation.


During the investigation, an employee will likely be asked to provide pertinent documents and be interviewed by the person conducting the investigation. This may occur in person or remotely through video conferencing.


Employee Rights During an Investigation

There are a few basic rights that employees should be aware of during the investigative process. An investigation doesn’t always result in disciplinary action. It can be used to gather information and clarify events that were previously misunderstood.


An employee has the right to know why they are being investigated.
– They have the right to know what rule they broke or what part of their job they are being investigated for.
– An employee also has the right to representation.
– They have the right to receive a fair investigation.
– An employee has the right to not participate in the investigation but that is usually a poor decision as the investigator will interview all parties and therefore if you refuse to participate in the investigation, you lose the opportunity to present your version of events.

Strategies for Employees to manage the process

There are certain strategies and best practices that you can use to help you manage the investigative process and protect your interests.

Stay Calm. If you’ve received a notification about an investigation, it’s normal to be anxious. You should take some time to compose yourself and gather your thoughts before you respond to a request for information.


Understand the investigation process. Depending on the nature of the investigation, you may have to provide documentation, access to your computer, or interview with HR representatives, managers, or third-party investigators. Be prepared for a long process if you have a lot of information to gather for your employer.


Gather all information required by your employer. This includes providing copies of written communications, digital records, and supporting documentation to help clarify the events in question.


Plan your response. Rushing to respond to an investigation notification may result in a mistake. It’s recommended to take some time to construct a thoughtful and thorough response.


Get help if you need it. If you feel that you don’t have the skills to handle the investigation on your own, get some help.


Keep an open mind. You don’t know what events led up to the investigation, so you don’t know what details may be missing from your perspective.


Be respectful. If you receive a letter or email from your employer regarding an investigation, be respectful and respond accordingly.


Stay positive. You are likely under a lot of stress, but try to stay positive and focused on the outcome that you want.


Don’t jump to conclusions. It’s easy to assume that you know what led up to the investigation, but you don’t. Keep an open mind and let the investigation play out.


Don’t self-impose disciplinary action. During an investigation, it’s normal to be frustrated and feel that you want to jump in and fix what you think is wrong. Resist the urge to impose disciplinary action on yourself. Let the process play out and let your employer make the final decision.



An investigation usually happens when someone has reported a problem. It could be a colleague, customer, or manager.


Employees are not required to participate in an investigation if they don’t feel comfortable doing so. However, it is generally a good idea to participate to provide your version of events.


An employee has the right to remain silent and decline to answer any questions.. Even if you are not the one being investigated, an investigation can be stressful and scary. Stay calm, take care of yourself, and follow these tips to help manage the process and protect your interests.


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Workplace Investigations FAQ

What is a workplace investigation?

An investigation is when you hire a team to look into an allegation raised against your business. The goal is to find out what happened, which can be helpful for HR, for the company’s insurance, and for the people involved.


Investigations can be any misconduct claim, including sexual harassment, discrimination, fraud, theft, and more. Sometimes, HR departments aren’t equipped to handle sensitive matters on their own, so they hire outside investigators as a third party who can help collect and analyze evidence.



Why do workplace investigations happen?

Investigations are usually triggered by two types of events — a complaint or an audit.

Complaints are raised by employees about their work experience, often about fellow employees. Investigators often become involved when a complaint is made, or when a company is audited.


Who runs the investigation?

There are different types of workplace investigations, and each comes with its own set of pros and cons.

Internal investigations – These are conducted in-house by HR or a business owner, who often have limited experience with investigating crimes. They’re usually more concerned with protecting the company’s reputation than gathering facts, so they may miss significant information that could help resolve the situation.

Third-party investigations – An outside agency handles the investigation, which could be particularly useful if your company has a lot of sensitive data that needs to be kept secure.

Law enforcement investigations – This is triggered by an arrest, charge, or other legal event. While the police can help with certain situations, they might not be able to investigate certain issues like discrimination claims.

Where do workplace investigations happen?

Investigators may conduct their interviews with both employees and employers at any location that’s convenient for both sides. The key is to make sure the location is private and confidential — that way, people can be honest without worrying that their words will be shared with other people or groups.

Some investigations will require the use of a private investigator’s office. Private investigators have experience with conducting interviews in an office environment, can maintain privacy and confidentiality, and are often better equipped to handle interview situations that may become volatile.


How long do Workplace Investigations take?

Investigations can take as little as a week or as long as several months, depending on the complexity of the issues involved.


Can we stop and restart an investigation after it’s been running for a while?

Yes. It’s not uncommon for an investigation to stall out or go off track, particularly if it’s an internal investigation. Sometimes, the parties involved stop cooperating with the process, or they may have trouble reaching a mutually satisfactory conclusion. But if you decide you need to restart the investigation, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

You may need to write a new contract and pay for a new investigation
— So make sure you’re clear about what you want to investigate and what the parties are promising to deliver before you start. You may want to rebrand the investigation
— the retooled investigation can help you get back on track to a more successful conclusion.


What can we do to make workplace investigations easier?

There are a few steps you can take to make workplace investigations go as smoothly as possible for everyone involved.

Practice good record keeping — This can help you identify trends and improve your policies, helping to prevent future problems from arising.
Investigate each complaint thoroughly — Even if the complaint doesn’t turn out to be valid, you should learn from it.
Don’t ignore complaints — Even if they seem frivolous, they could be signposts to bigger issues.
Investigate fraud or theft promptly — These types of investigations need to be handled as urgently as possible.

If you hire an investigator, make sure you know what the investigator’s role is, and make sure the investigator understands that they are working for you.


What should we do if an employee files a complaint against us?

Sometimes, an investigation is initiated by an employee. If an employee files a complaint against your business, try to be as helpful as possible.

If you’re able to resolve the situation quickly, you might be able to end the investigation before it goes any further.


If you’re unable to resolve the situation quickly, try to get in touch with the employee’s representative as soon as possible. This helps you understand the employee’s concerns and gives you time to gather evidence that helps your side of the story.


What should we do if an employee files a complaint against another employee?

This is an investigation that you’ll need to run, perhaps with the help of HR.


If you receive a complaint about another employee, you first need to decide if the complaint is something you can handle. If it’s minor or internal company policy related, you may be able to handle it. If it’s serious or outside your ability to handle it, you need to escalate it so a different team can handle it, such as HR or the legal team.


Once you’ve decided what to do with the complaint, make sure you follow the appropriate process, whether it be in-house or through HR or engaging a professional investigation company.


Provide us a few details below and we will contact you as soon as possible

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Telephone: 0418 101 164 (Stephen Oliver)


470 St Kilda Road
Melbourne Vic 3004