Nov 16

Taking disciplinary action after workplace investigations: don’t drop the ball before the finish line!

In this post, we highlight a hidden risk for both investigators of workplace allegations and HR professionals involved in any disciplinary decisions following an investigation, where additional evidence contributes to the decision to terminate employment. In these situations, employers must provide the this additional information – either as separate allegations, or as relevant evidence – […]

Nov 09

Why you need to triage workplace complaints before taking action

HR professionals and managers are always aware of the legal obligations of employers to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of their employees. In this environment, when you become aware of an employee complaint, the inclination is to immediately “take action”. However, a recent decision of the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission highlights why it is […]

Nov 02

5 tips for effective induction to mitigate workplace risks – lessons from local government

I have recently sent off my ballot in my local council elections and the results of council elections all over Victoria have now been determined. Hundreds of councillors are now taking up their positions on local councils, some for the very first time. The challenge facing local government chief executives and their delegated staff is […]

Oct 26

4 questions to ask before appointing an external workplace investigator

Workplace investigations can be costly, time-consuming and difficult matters and, if not well managed, can lead to significant management, legal and/or reputational problems for an organisation. There are numerous reasons why it may be advisable to appoint an external investigator rather than to deal with the matter internally, particularly when the matter is complex, sensitive […]

Oct 19

Zero tolerance for sexually derogatory comments at work

The US Republican Presidential candidate’s recent comments regarding his attitudes and behaviour towards women are utterly appalling. In response to universal condemnation, Donald Trump has attempted to justify his behaviour by saying, amongst other things, that it was “locker-room talk”. This attempted justification appears to refer to some implicit rule that when men are in […]

Oct 12

Managing expectations during an external workplace investigation

Investigations by independent, external workplace investigators are increasingly common in Australian workplaces. The need for an external investigation particularly arises in circumstances where a complaint is complex, multi-faceted, sensitive, messy or “political”. For this reason, external investigations can tend to take longer than initially envisaged. The inherent risk associated with the behaviour that instigated the […]

Sep 21

Investigating bullying allegations: where is the line between bullying and reasonable management action?

  A common challenge for investigators is bullying allegations in which the alleged conduct is argued to have been reasonable management action.   What is bullying?   The definition of bullying found in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) is ‘repeated unreasonable behaviour by an individual, or a group of individuals, towards a worker or […]