Everything you need to know about Independent Workplace Investigations

  • Do I need a workplace investigation?
  • What’s involved in a workplace investigation?
  • How long should a workplace investigation take?

If you’ve ever asked yourself these questions you have come to the right place.

Do you have an employee who has made a complaint or raised a concern? Whether the complaint relates to inappropriate workplace behaviour such as sexual harassment or bullying, other Code of Conduct breaches or is related to Workplace Policies every complaint should be managed promptly and professionally.

Prompt and professional management helps to:

  • build trust among employees;
  • rebuild staff morale and improve workplace culture;
  • demonstrate as an Employer, your commitment to addressing workplace issues as they arise; and
  • place your organisation in a defensible position against any potential future claims.

Where a complaint is made about alleged harassment, bullying, discriminatory behaviour or criminal offence an informal response will not be appropriate. It is essential that the complaint be handled well, and a workplace investigation be conducted.

It is essential for Employers to investigate employee complaints and manage them in a fair, impartial, thorough, and consistent manner in accordance with any workplace policies.

Investigations can be complex, costly, and time-consuming, particularly if you aren’t experienced and don’t fully understand your obligations. If you or your team don’t feel you have the time or expertise to handle an investigation correctly, it may be best to outsource to the investigation to an independent expert like Industryus HR.

The benefits of using an experienced external investigator include:

  • Impartiality: external investigators are unbiased and impartial, having no professional or personal connections to the company or individuals involved in the investigation.
  • Independence: independent experts are not persuaded by the organisation’s hierarchy or politics, hence there is no pressure to deliver a particular outcome.
  • Expertise: independent investigators have specific expertise and experience in conducting workplace investigations.
  • Legal compliance: external investigators have a thorough knowledge of relevant employment laws and regulations governing workplace investigations in Australia. They can ensure that the investigation is conducted in compliance with legal requirements.
  • Confidentiality: independent investigators are bound by confidentiality agreements and can ensure that the investigation is conducted in a confidential manner. This is important in protecting the privacy of those involved in the investigation.
  • Cost-effective: engaging an independent investigator can be more cost-effective than conducting investigations internally. External investigators can complete the investigation more efficiently and effectively, resulting in fewer disruptions to the organisation’s operations and resources.

What’s involved in a workplace investigation?

The purpose of an investigation is to gather information from a number of sources and to make findings based on the evidence obtained. It is essential that the investigation process is thorough, unbiased and legally compliant to ensure that it is fair and impartial.

There are a number of steps that occur in any workplace investigation. The process that Industryus HR takes when conducting a Workplace Investigation is as follows:

  • Meet with you to discuss the scope of the investigation;
  • Interview the complainant/s;
  • Interview any relevant witnesses;
  • Interview the respondent/s;
  • Consider all relevant information and provide a comprehensive report on our findings; and
  • Provide recommendations where appropriate.

How long should a workplace investigation take?

Whilst it is important to undertake workplace investigations as efficiently as possible, there is no real way to pinpoint how long an investigation will take from brief to report. There are many factors that will influence the timeline.

This may include availability of parties, the number of allegations involved, the number of witnesses, types of evidence gathered and relied on, as well as many more factors that could arise during the workplace investigation.

Need a workplace investigation completed?

Industryus HR offers comprehensive independent workplace investigation services. Our experienced team investigates a range of workplace misconduct complaints. We can provide full investigations services, conduct preliminary enquiries to determine if an investigation is warranted, support you in conducting internal enquiries, and/or provide advice and guidance to managers.

Get in touch with our team today on 07 5655 4047 or book in a free introductory call here.


Back to News