workplace investigation

Workplace Investigation Melbourne

Workplace Investigations Melbourne - No Stone Left Unturned
Jolasers Investigations just don't just do one type of investigation. With Jolasers, you can get whatever you need—from informal complaints to more complex investigations.

Jolasers Workplace Investigations Melbourne have a wide range of experience in dealing with all levels within a company, from board level down to operational level. We have dealt with complaints from executive level to team leaders and frontline staff, including union involvement when required. All cases are dealt with confidentially and any investigation is conducted under strict confidentiality at all times.

 

No matter what your workplace investigation needs are, we have you covered. With over 16 years of experience in complex worksite investigations in Melbourne, Jolasers Workplace Investigations will be there to find the truth and provide you with the right outcome. 

 

Call 0418 101 164 to discuss your Melbourne workplace investigation requirements.

 

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How to Deal with a Workplace Investigation in Melbourne

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.

A 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 Melbourne

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.

Melbourne 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 Melbourne 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

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