What is a Workplace Investigation?
A workplace investigation is supposed to be procedurally fair process to try to determine whether allegations that have been raised against another person in the workplace are substantiated or not substantiated. So it's a process of collecting facts and evidence to be able to make a determination on a balance of probabilities as to whether the alleged incidents did happen or not.
At what point does a complaint warrant an investigation?
So when we talk about investigations, these are both an informal process and a formal process. An informal process can be conducted perhaps by a manager or a supervisor who might speak to staff quietly on the side, try to ascertain what's happening. Usually that's around interpersonal conflict issues, or maybe smaller procedural issues.
But when we start to talk about situations which could potentially be a breach of workplace policy in terms of inappropriate or unlawful behaviours like bullying, sexual harassment, victimisation, fraud, theft, those sorts of things then really a formal investigation should be conducted.
We’ve compiled a resource of Frequently Asked Questions About Workplace Investigations for managers and human resource personnel. The resource includes a video and pdf transcript of Catherine Gillespie, Managing Director of Workplace Conflict Resolution, answering 29 commonly asked questions. To access your copy of the video and transcript click here.