workplace investigation

Has an Employee Made an Official Complaint?

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 an initial confidential discussion.

Act now! Secure the success of your business with Jolasers professinal workplace investigations.

 

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

 

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Melbourne Workplace Investigations

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We have many years experience investigating workplace issues in Melbourne.

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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.

 

Wrap-up

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.

 

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Telephone: 0418 101 164 (Stephen Oliver)
Email: stephen.oliver@jolasers.com.au

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470 St Kilda Road
Melbourne Vic 3004

 

 

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Bullying
Jolasers Investigations Have Over 16 Years Experience Conducting Complex Workplace Bullying Investigations in Melbourne.

Many companies assign their HR representative to lead a Melbourne workplace bullying investigation. This works occasionally but is generally regarded as a poor strategy.

A HR investigation of workplace bullying is the best example of why third parties are needed. To be successful, an investigation must be independent and impartial, with no connections to either party.

Because the external investigator is coming in without any previous involvement, and initially are not as familiar with the situation as employees, and can ask follow-up queries that might otherwise be missed.

An external investigator is the best way to ensure that this occurs. A qualified investigator can ask tough questions with minimum negative reactions, thus getting the whole story.


Call 0418 101 164 to discuss your workplace investigation situation.

Melbourne Bullying Investigations

We will provide you with an upfront quotation to undertake a professional workplace bullying investigation. Click on button below to get a quotation for your workplace investigation.

Seeking Prompt Attention

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We are Waiting to Help With Your Melbourne Workplace Investigation

We have many years experience investigating bullying and harassment claims in Melbourne. Click the link below to get in touch.

About Melbourne Bullying Investigations

Melbourne Bullying 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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Info Regarding Work Place Bullying Investigations In Melbourne?

If you are trying to find more information on the below topics, you can find great information on this page.

  1. Bullying investigation Melbourne
  2. Melbourne Workplace Investigation
  3. Melbourne Workplace Bullying Investigations
Workplace Bullying Investigations – Melbourne.

Let’s face it: Workplace bullying investigations aren’t fun. No one likes to think of their organization as one that might have a problem with inappropriate conduct or hostile work environment. And, in most cases, workplaces aren’t like that. However, if you work in HR or another department that handles employee relations on a regular basis, you know that these things can happen. These types of problems are more common than you think, and they have the potential to create significant risk for your company — legally and reputationally. That’s why it’s so important to have processes in place to handle workplace investigations when they arise. Read on for our expert advice on how to conduct an effective workplace investigation and mitigate risks from misconduct or a hostile working environment.


What is a workplace investigation?

A workplace investigation is a thorough fact-finding process used to determine if and how misconduct occurred within the workplace. The investigation may cover a wide range of issues, including sexual harassment and hostile work environment, discrimination, theft, fraud, or misuse of company resources. In many cases, employers are obligated to initiate workplace investigations when certain allegations are brought to the attention of management. Employers may also choose to investigate a particular incident even when there is no obligation to do so.


Why is conducting an effective workplace investigation so important?

Investigations are crucial when there has been a complaint or allegation of improper conduct at work. They can help determine the facts of the situation, identify potential liability issues, and protect both the organization and the individuals involved. In an ideal world, no one would have to go through this process — but the reality is that workplaces are imperfect environments and issues will arise. When they do, you need to have a process in place to investigate and address them in a timely and thorough way. When you investigate issues promptly, you can minimize the risk that they become bigger problems down the road. This can help protect your organization’s reputation and legal standing, and ensure that people feel safe on the job.


Create a culture of transparency during the investigation

There will likely be an inherent level of discomfort among employees during an investigation, as people may feel nervous about what’s about to happen. This is normal and expected — but it is also important to help people understand that the investigation is an open process. You should let employees know exactly what will happen as the investigation progresses. This includes who will participate and how, where the investigation will take place, what the process will look like, how long it will take, and how the results will be communicated. Let your team members know that they can ask questions at any time, and that they should feel free to speak up if they have concerns or think they have information that will be useful. This will help create a transparent atmosphere that will help people feel more comfortable and supported through the process.


Develop a process to handle investigations quickly and efficiently

How you handle investigations will go a long way toward determining how effective they are. You should have a process that you follow in every workplace investigation, regardless of the issue being examined. This will help you make sure every investigation is thorough and consistent. It also ensures that everyone involved is treated fairly, and that people are given the opportunity to provide their perspective. This includes having a clear starting point for each investigation — such as the findings of a complaint or the results of a risk assessment — and clearly defining the objectives you want to achieve. Let your employees know what the process will look like, and encourage them to be a part of it. This will help make the investigation more efficient and build trust within your team. It will also help to protect your organization from any potential lawsuits related to the investigation.


Hold disciplinary meetings based on your findings

Even if you find no evidence of wrongdoing, you should still conduct an investigation. This can help clear your employees’ names and show that you take their concerns seriously. What happens next will depend on the results of the investigation. If you find that misconduct occurred, you will need to decide what disciplinary action to take. Most employers have a disciplinary policy that specifies the types of problems that can result in termination, as well as the process for determining disciplinary action. You should follow this process carefully, as it could help to protect your organization if someone decides to challenge the disciplinary decision in court.


Conclusion

When it comes to workplace investigations, you need to be thorough and efficient. To do this, you need a process that includes having a clear starting point for each investigation and clearly defining the objectives you want to achieve. Leaders should also let their employees know what the process will look like, and encourage them to be a part of it. You also need to create a culture of transparency during the investigation, and develop a process to handle investigations quickly and efficiently. When workplace investigations are done well, they can help protect your company from significant legal and reputational risks. They can also help build a culture of transparency, trust, and open communication among employees — which is always a good thing.


Jolasers have a long history of providing professional workplace bullying investigations. You may wish to consider engaging us to conduct an investigation into any workplace investigations that you have.

 

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Frequently Asked Questions.

An investigation can be a stressful time for both employee and employer. Employees might have concerns about their performance, feel like they’re being unfairly scrutinized, or worry about the potential implications of the investigation on their career trajectory. For employers, investigations are often taxing and time-consuming processes that demand confidentiality and sensitive handling. In order to help tackle the challenges of workplace investigations more efficiently, we’ve prepared this FAQ guide with answers to some of the most common questions employers may have when initiating an investigation in the workplace.

 

What is a workplace investigation?

Business investigations are designed to seek out facts, identify problems, and find solutions that have be triggered by a specific event or complaint such as a bullying allegation or sexual harassment allegation. They often follow a set process that allows all parties to be treated fairly and ensures that organizational policies are followed.

 

Why is an investigation necessary?

While it’s possible to address issues informally, an investigation often provides more structure and ensures that all employees’ concerns are addressed fairly. It also provides the foundation for any disciplinary action that results from the allegations.

Companies engage external investigators to eliminate any perceived bias or favouritism towards one or more of the participants in the investigation.

 

How long does a workplace investigation typically take?

While there is no hard and fast rule for how long investigations should last, the duration of most investigations falls between two and four weeks. Investigations that are prompted by a specific event, such as an employee’s allegation of bullying or harassment, will likely be shorter, due to the desire of all parties to finalise the mater. Investigations that explore multiple issues and problems that have been festering for a long period are likely to last longer. Investigations that include a wide range of employees may be longer still if Investigators aim to include all employees’ input in the process.

 

Who can participate in the investigation?

An Investigator will seek to interview all persons that are involved in the subject of the investigation which may include witnesses to a particular event. Generally the more relevant people interviewed, the more detailed the final report will be.

All persons interviewed in an investigation are entitled to have a support person with them to provide moral support as the circumstances discussed can often be difficult for the person being interviewed to re-live.

 

What are the different types of workplace investigations?

Investigations are often broken up into four major categories – bullying, harassment, sexual harassment and misconduct. They all follow the same basic structure. The person/s who have made the allegations against a work colleague/s will be interviewed first to determine the exact nature of the allegations. Then any witnesses identified will be interviewed and then finally the person/s who the allegations were made against will have the opportunity to respond to the allegations. From there the Investigator will prepare his findings and present to the appropriate person in the company.

 

Can employees be required to participate in investigations?

Employees can be required to participate in investigations if their participation is directly related to the issues being investigated. Employees may be required to produce relevant documentation, provide a written statement, or be interviewed by the investigator. When deciding if employees should be required to participate, employers should consider the nature of the investigation and the expected value of employees’ input.

 

Are there any requirements for informing employees about investigations?

Employers should inform employees whenever they become aware of an issue that necessitates an investigation. Informing employees provides transparency, helps build trust and confidence in the organization, and may reduce the chances of retaliation against the employees who are being investigated. Employers may be able to avoid the need for an investigation by promptly addressing employee concerns. In many cases, employers can address issues informally by talking directly with employees to seek clarification and explore potential solutions.

 

Should employers comply with employee requests during an investigation?

Employers are generally expected to comply with reasonable requests from employees during an investigation, as long as those requests do not interfere with the investigation. For example some employees are uncomfortable being interviewed in the general vicinity of their work colleagues and will request the interview take place offsite or somewhere private that other employees are not aware of their participation.

Employers should be careful not to give the impression that they are providing special treatment to certain employees. If employers feel that a request from an employee would interfere with an investigation, they should explain why and consider providing an alternative solution.

 

Can disciplinary action be taken as a result of an investigation?

Employers may take disciplinary action against employees as a result of an investigation, but they must first ensure that the investigation is thorough and complete. Disciplinary actions are separate from an investigation and should be undertaken after the investigation concludes. Disciplinary actions can vary from a minor formal warning letter being placed on an employees personnel file to really serious disciplinary action such as termination or a referral of matters to police. 

 

 
 

Telephone: 0418 101 164 (Stephen Oliver)
Email: stephen.oliver@jolasers.com.au
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Harassment
Jolasers Investigations Have Over 16 Years Experience Conducting Complex Workplace Sexual Harassment Investigations in Melbourne.

Many companies assign their HR representative to lead a Melbourne workplace sexual harassment investigation. This works occasionally but is generally regarded as a poor strategy.

 

A HR investigation of workplace sexual harassment is the best example of why third parties are needed. To be successful, an investigation must be independent and impartial, with no connections to either party.

 

Because the external investigator is coming in without any previous involvement, and initially are not as familiar with the situation as employees, and can ask follow-up queries that might otherwise be missed.

 

An external investigator is the best way to ensure that this occurs. A qualified investigator can ask tough questions with minimum negative reactions, thus getting the whole story.

 

Call 0418 101 164 to discuss your workplace investigation situation.

 

Melbourne Sexual Harassment Investigations

We will provide you with an upfront quotation to undertake a professional workplace sexual harassment investigation. Click on button below to get a quotation for your workplace investigation.

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We are Waiting to Help With Your Melbourne Workplace Sexual Harassment Investigation

We have many years experience investigating sexual harassment claims in Melbourne. Click the link below to get in touch.

About Melbourne Sexual Harassment Investigations

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

 

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Info Regarding Workplace Sexual Harassment Investigations In Melbourne?

 

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  1. Sexual harassment investigation Melbourne
  2. Melbourne workplace sexual harassment Investigation
  3. Workplace sexual harassment investigations Melbourne

Melbourne Sexual Harassment Investigations

 

Having a productive and safe workplace is the ultimate goal of any manager or supervisor. If you’re in a management position, it’s your duty to create an environment that’s free of harassment and other negative behavior. Think of it as an investment in the future of your company. A healthy work environment will boost employee morale, increase productivity and reduce potential legal fees from lawsuits. Given that sexual harassment has been a hot topic lately, we wanted to help you stay informed about best practices for preventing it in your own work environment. An investigation into potential sexual harassment can be scary for all parties involved; after all, we are talking about sensitive topics that involve personal boundaries being crossed at work. However, if you keep these things in mind and remain fair and objective throughout, it won’t feel so scary after all.

 

The first decision you are going to have to make is to determine whether you are going to investigate the allegation/s inhouse or seek a professional investigator to undertake a thorough unbiased investigation.

 

Some of the issues you face undertaking an inhouse investigation are:

  1. Do your staff have the expertise to undertake a complex  investigation?
  2. Is it possible that one of the parties could allege your staff are unbiased or impartial?
  3. Will the recommendations made by your staff stand up to legal scrutiny?
Do you want to take the risk of completing an investigation to then have one of the parties allege the investigation was not impartial as the consider one of the staff undertaking the investigation favoured the other side. Often you are back to square one and have to start all over. 

Don’t risk it – contact us to discuss how we can assist you in resolving this issue in a timely and fair manner. 

 

Know Your Company’s Position On Harassment

For starters, you have to know what your company’s position on sexual harassment is. Is it something that is taken seriously and dealt with immediately, or is it something that’s more of a grey area and not really discussed? These are the things that you should know first. Another important thing to note is whether employees are allowed to bring a representative to any meetings where harassment is being discussed. This is often overlooked, but it can make a world of difference in how the conversation goes.

Find Out What Constitutes Sexual Harassment

The next thing you want to do is find out exactly what constitutes sexual harassment. Examples can include unwelcome sexual advances, repeated sexual comments, unwanted touching and sexual jokes that make others feel uncomfortable. The best course of action when you’re not sure is to ask. It’s also helpful to know that harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature. It can also involve any type of unwelcome verbal or physical conduct that is based on gender, race, religion, etc.

 

Ask Witnesses Questions

If you’re conducting an investigation into a sexual harassment claim, you’ll want to ask witnesses questions. You can do this in written form or in person; whatever works best for the situation. When you’re asking questions, try to keep the focus on the facts and not on judgement. You don’t want to give off any indication that you’re trying to prove anything — you just want to get all of the details you can so that you can make an informed decision.

 

Ask The Parties Questions

When you’re in the middle of an investigation, you’ll also want to ask each party involved questions. Again, make sure to keep the focus on the facts and not on judgement. The best thing to do is have a list of questions written out before you meet with the parties. This will keep you from becoming flustered and help you stay focused on the issue at hand. Another tip to keep in mind is to have a witness present during the meetings with the parties; this way, you’ll have someone to corroborate your notes and give an unbiased account of what was said during the meeting.

 

Find Out If There Are Patterns Of Behaviour

Another way to determine if sexual harassment is occurring in your workplace is to see if there are any patterns of behaviour. For example, if the same party is always involved in one-on-one meetings with the person who made the complaint, this can be a red flag. You also want to look out for any patterns of behaviour between the parties involved. If one person is always initiating the inappropriate behaviour, it’s more likely that they are the one who should be held responsible.

 

Determine If It Is An Ongoing Problem

Finally, you want to determine if the sexual harassment is an ongoing problem. If so, you have to ask yourself why this is happening and what you can do to put an end to it. You can start by bringing both parties together for a mediation session where you (the manager) are present to facilitate.     

                        

Conclusion

Keep in mind that each situation is unique and will require a unique approach. Try to keep an open mind and use judgement when making your final decision. If you need help, don’t be afraid to seek it out.

 

If you require an independent company to undertake a professional investigation of your workplace incident, complete our contact form and we will contact you to discuss the process.

We service all areas of NSW and Victoria

 

For Prompt Attention, Complete The Form below And We Will Contact You As Soon As Possible.

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Name
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Frequently Asked Questions.

An investigation can be a stressful time for both employee and employer. Employees might have concerns about their performance, feel like they’re being unfairly scrutinized, or worry about the potential implications of the investigation on their career trajectory. For employers, investigations are often taxing and time-consuming processes that demand confidentiality and sensitive handling. In order to help tackle the challenges of workplace investigations more efficiently, we’ve prepared this FAQ guide with answers to some of the most common questions employers may have when initiating an investigation in the workplace.

 

What is a workplace investigation?

Business investigations are designed to seek out facts, identify problems, and find solutions that have be triggered by a specific event or complaint such as a bullying allegation or sexual harassment allegation. They often follow a set process that allows all parties to be treated fairly and ensures that organizational policies are followed.

 

Why is an investigation necessary?

While it’s possible to address issues informally, an investigation often provides more structure and ensures that all employees’ concerns are addressed fairly. It also provides the foundation for any disciplinary action that results from the allegations.

Companies engage external investigators to eliminate any perceived bias or favouritism towards one or more of the participants in the investigation.

 

How long does a workplace investigation typically take?

While there is no hard and fast rule for how long investigations should last, the duration of most investigations falls between two and four weeks. Investigations that are prompted by a specific event, such as an employee’s allegation of bullying or harassment, will likely be shorter, due to the desire of all parties to finalise the mater. Investigations that explore multiple issues and problems that have been festering for a long period are likely to last longer. Investigations that include a wide range of employees may be longer still if Investigators aim to include all employees’ input in the process.

 

Who can participate in the investigation?

An Investigator will seek to interview all persons that are involved in the subject of the investigation which may include witnesses to a particular event. Generally the more relevant people interviewed, the more detailed the final report will be.

All persons interviewed in an investigation are entitled to have a support person with them to provide moral support as the circumstances discussed can often be difficult for the person being interviewed to re-live.

 

What are the different types of workplace investigations?

Investigations are often broken up into four major categories – bullying, harassment, sexual harassment and misconduct. They all follow the same basic structure. The person/s who have made the allegations against a work colleague/s will be interviewed first to determine the exact nature of the allegations. Then any witnesses identified will be interviewed and then finally the person/s who the allegations were made against will have the opportunity to respond to the allegations. From there the Investigator will prepare his findings and present to the appropriate person in the company.

 

Can employees be required to participate in investigations?

Employees can be required to participate in investigations if their participation is directly related to the issues being investigated. Employees may be required to produce relevant documentation, provide a written statement, or be interviewed by the investigator. When deciding if employees should be required to participate, employers should consider the nature of the investigation and the expected value of employees’ input.

 

Are there any requirements for informing employees about investigations?

Employers should inform employees whenever they become aware of an issue that necessitates an investigation. Informing employees provides transparency, helps build trust and confidence in the organization, and may reduce the chances of retaliation against the employees who are being investigated. Employers may be able to avoid the need for an investigation by promptly addressing employee concerns. In many cases, employers can address issues informally by talking directly with employees to seek clarification and explore potential solutions.

 

Should employers comply with employee requests during an investigation?

Employers are generally expected to comply with reasonable requests from employees during an investigation, as long as those requests do not interfere with the investigation. For example some employees are uncomfortable being interviewed in the general vicinity of their work colleagues and will request the interview take place offsite or somewhere private that other employees are not aware of their participation.

Employers should be careful not to give the impression that they are providing special treatment to certain employees. If employers feel that a request from an employee would interfere with an investigation, they should explain why and consider providing an alternative solution.

 

Can disciplinary action be taken as a result of an investigation?

Employers may take disciplinary action against employees as a result of an investigation, but they must first ensure that the investigation is thorough and complete. Disciplinary actions are separate from an investigation and should be undertaken after the investigation concludes. Disciplinary actions can vary from a minor formal warning letter being placed on an employees personnel file to really serious disciplinary action such as termination or a referral of matters to police. 

 

 
 

Telephone: 0418 101 164 (Stephen Oliver)
Email: stephen.oliver@jolasers.com.au

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