Conducting Internal Workplace Investigations

When conducting internal workplace investigations employers may face accusations such as;

  • The investigation or investigator is bias
  • There is/was a conflict of interest
  • There is/was undue influence from senior management
  • The investigation was not conducted in a proper manner
  • The investigation took too long.

These are common complaints from dissatisfied parties.

To ensure that you avoid such complaints when conducting internal workplace investigations we suggest the following;

  • The investigation or investigator is bias – ensure that the person appointed to conduct the investigation does not have a connection to the parties or an interest in the outcome that will affect their judgment or how they conduct the investigation.
  • There is/was a conflict of interest – similar to the first point it is important to ensure that the person appointed to conduct the investigation does not have any interest in the outcome. Conflicts of interest like bias may be actual or perceived.
  • There is/was undue influence from senior management – It is important to ensure from the outset that management understand that the outcome of the investigation will be based on the evidence and not the wishes of management.  The outcome of the investigation must be be moulded to fit a predetermined outcome.
  • The investigation was not conducted in a proper manner. The use of the correct process to ensure procedural fairness is very important. You must ensure that the person appointed to conduct the investigation has the necessary investigative skill and experience especially in the area of investigative interviewing.
    • The ability to draft and use the following documents are also of paramount importance
      • Investigation plans
      • Risk assessments
      • Letters to the parties
      • Allegation letters
      • Interview plans
      • Interim & final report
  • The investigation took too long – It is important to ensure that the person appointed to conduct the investigation has the ability to conduct the investigation in a timely manner. We all know that everyone is busy and investigations take time, however being involved in an investigation as the complainant, the person subject of the complaints or a witness is stressful, employers should aim to minimise the stress by conducting the investigation in a professional and efficient manner. Failure to do so can result in secondary complaints and legal action due to the stress and a potential breach of the employers duty of care.

AWPTI can assist you with complete investigation services, however if you wish to DIY we suggest that you purchase our comprehensive Workplace Investigation Toolbox that contains 40 documents and manuals

  1. Step by step workplace investigation instructions (20 documents) (pdf)
  2. Complaint Analysis Chart (pdf)
  3. Investigation Flow Chart (pdf)
  4. Investigation Interview Manual (pdf)
  5. Procedural Fairness Manual (pdf)
  6. Reasonable Management Action Manual (pdf)
  7. Sexual harassment Manual (pdf)
  8. Evidence Manual (pdf)
  9. Template Risk Assessment form (Word doc)
  10. Template investigation plans x 2 (Word doc)
  11. Template letter to the complainant (Word doc)
  12. Template letter to the witnesses (Word doc)
  13. Template initial letter to the respondent (Word doc)
  14. Template letter of allegation to the respondent (Word doc)
  15. Template complainant interview guide/script (Word doc)
  16. Template witness interview guide/script (Word doc)
  17. Template respondent interview guide/script (Word doc)
  18. Sample witness statement (Word doc)
  19. Sample interim report (Word doc)
  20. Sample final investigation report (Word doc)

The word Docs allow you to use the templates and customise them for your investigation. Click here for further details or to purchase for only $795.00

If you don’t wish to purchase the entire toolbox you can purchase the manuals separately – More details

You may be interested in these articles
Drafting allegations – http://awpti.com.au/workplace-investigations-drafting-allegations/
Drafting allegation letters – http://awpti.com.au/workplace-investigation-allegation-letters/
(The templates in the document toolbox can ensure that you get this right)

AWPTI Investigation services – More details

AWPTI can also provide you with Workplace Investigation training – More details

AWPTI – workplace investigation Sydney and through-out NSW, QLD and Victoria. Workplace training national wide
Misconduct investigations, bullying investigations, harassment investigations & sexual harassment investigations, complaint investigations, grievance investigations, discrimination investigations

www.awpti.com.au
http://awpti.com.au/investigations/
http://awpti.com.au/training/

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