Workplace Investigations
This firm can help you

Learn more about how this law firm can help you:

Employers & Businesses

Independent Investigations

Unfair Workplace Investigations

Employers and Businesses
Independent Investigations
Unfair Workplace Investigations

Workplace Investigations
This firm can help you

Learn more about how this law firm can help you:

Employers & Businesses

Independent Investigations

Unfair Workplace Investigations

Employers and Businesses
Independent Investigations
Unfair Workplace Investigations

Employers and Workplace Investigations

Employers & Workplace Investigations

Employers and Workplace Investigations

If you are an employer or business operator, a workplace investigation may be necessary to a resolve dispute.

A primary aim of an investigation is to find the truth based on a fair analysis of the available evidence.

Do you need to conduct a workplace investigation?

Workplace investigations must be procedurally fair.

Learn about conducting workplace investigations

At the outset

At the outset…

Do you need to conduct a workplace investigation?

Failing to afford procedural fairness during a workplace investigation can be a costly mistake for employers and business operators.

Just keep in mind that general information is no substitute for legal advice from a lawyer.

At the outset
Minimising investigation risks
Minimising investigation risks

Minimising investigation risks

>> Identify potential conflicts of interest

>> Appoint a skilled investigator

>> Follow applicable laws and policies

>> Properly gather all relevant evidence

>> Make findings based on the evidence

Steps in workplace investigations

The failure to properly investigate grievances carries its own risks, just as unfair workplace investigations do. Businesses and business operators may face legal action for the harm or damage caused through inadequate or unfair workplace investigations.

Workplace investigations vary greatly. However, it is possible to identify the general stages or steps undertaken during a typical workplace investigation. While several identifiable steps in workplace investigations may occur, the complexity and effort required for an inquiry will differ from case to case.

There are many possible formulations of the steps for a procedurally fair workplace investigation. The following six steps set out the typical process that may be followed for workplace investigations:

  1. Deciding if an investigation is needed
  2. Planning the investigation
  3. Gathering evidence
  4. Allowing an opportunity to respond
  5. Considering the evidence
  6. Delivering findings and recommendations

While an employer may wish to act immediately in a situation involving an allegation or claim, it is essential to ensure proper processes are followed to minimise the legal risks involved for all concerned.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a workplace investigation?

The essential function of a workplace investigation is to find the truth based on a fair examination of the available evidence.

There are many reasons why an employer may seek a workplace investigation to be conducted:

  • Workplace investigations are often used as part of a disciplinary process
  • Employers may have a concern about an issue in the workplace
  • Legal obligations may exist for an investigation to be conducted
  • Failure to investigate an issue may pose legal and reputational risks

If you are the subject of a workplace investigation looking into allegations you believe or know to be false, wrong or vexatious, the only purpose you have is to clear your name. An unfair workplace investigation wrongly undermines your ability to answer the accusations. Instead of enforcing workplace standards, complying with legal obligations and managing workplace risks, an unfair workplace investigation undermines all of these things.

Types of workplace investigations

For any employer contemplating commencing a workplace investigation into an allegation or issue that has arisen, it is critical to understand the options available. The different types of workplace investigations available need to be considered to determine what will be appropriate in the circumstances. There are essentially four different types of workplace investigations that employers should contemplate (outlined below):

The type of workplace investigation may be informed by the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees. Types of workplace investigations include:

  • Preliminary investigations
  • Internal investigations
  • Guided investigations
  • External investigations

In order to decide which type of investigation is appropriate, it is necessary to ask a few questions:

  • Is an investigation necessary?
  • What is the nature of the issue?
  • Who should investigate the issue?

A workplace investigation must balance several considerations. There must be procedural fairness afforded to both complainants and respondents. The potential damage to reputations and careers from allegations in the workplace can be significant. Whether disputed or not, allegations can cause distress and panic in the workplace. It is why anyone dealing with a workplace investigation should ensure they understand their full rights and responsibilities.

Understand how this firm can help you

About Andrew Anderson

About Andrew Anderson

Do you need an experienced lawyer to assist you with a workplace investigation issue?

Andrew Anderson guides his clients through challenging, complex and serious problems. He has a proven and successful record.

About Andrew Anderson
How this firm can assist you
How this firm can assist you

How this firm can assist you

>> Advise on how to minimise legal risks

>> Draft allegations and particulars

>> Conduct or guide investigations

>> Resolve disputes from investigations

>> Litigate claims before courts and tribunals

Fixed-price initial consultation

Fixed-Price Consultation
One-Hour Consultation
Confidential
No-Obligation Consultation

A fixed-price initial consultation is $495 incl. GST for up to one hour, which may be tax deductible (consult your tax advisor).

If you are a business operator and need advice about a workplace investigation, book an appointment for an initial consultation with Anderson Legal. You will receive clear and timely advice that allows you to understand the relevant legal issues and make informed choices about your options.

An initial consultation with Anderson Legal is obligation-free, meaning there is no expectation or commitment to additional legal work or costs. As such, following the initial consultation, if you want to engage this firm for further advice or legal representation, you will receive an estimate of costs as far as possible.

Initial consultations are by appointment only, with in-person, video, and phone options possible.

Independent Investigations

Independent Workplace Investigations

Independent Investigations

While all investigations should be impartial, in some cases the only way to afford procedural fairness is to hire an external and independent investigator.

Independent investigators can help employers meet their obligations.

Do you require an independent investigation?

Anderson Legal assists with independent investigations.

Learn about independent workplace investigations

To begin with

To begin with…

Are you concerned about perceived bias in relation to a workplace investigation?

If you believe an independent investigation may be necessary, it can be important to act quickly.

While general information may offer a place to begin, it is no substitute for legal advice from a lawyer.

To begin with
Issues you may encounter
Issues you may encounter

Issues you may encounter

>> Real or perceived conflicts of interest

>> Deciding the scope of the investigation

>> Hiring a qualified investigator

>> Allocating time and resources

>> Resolving investigation disputes

What rights exist for respondents?

An independent workplace investigation represents only one control in affording procedural fairness.

Workplace investigations may be materially influenced by industrial awards, enterprise agreements, employment contracts, as well as workplace policies and procedures. However, a ‘fair’ workplace investigation where adverse findings may ultimately be made against an employee typically should involve consideration of the following issues:

  • procedural fairness
  • reasonable accommodations
  • employee support
  • health and safety rights
  • self-incrimination privilege
  • confidentiality considerations

People may ask, what does an unfair process look like? Common concerns include:

  • Bias or perceived bias from the investigator / decision-maker;
  • Conflicts of interest between participants and the investigator / decision-maker;
  • Failure to follow relevant policies, procedures and industrial instruments;
  • Vague, unclear and unparticularised allegations;
  • Changes to the allegations or investigation without explanation;
  • Lack of transparency regarding the evidence gathered;
  • Failure to disclose the workplace investigation report;
  • Failure to give adequate notice before responses are required;
  • Directions to not communicate with potential witnesses;
  • Denial of access to a support person;
  • Delays in progressing or finalising the investigation; and,
  • Omission to investigate issues raised by a respondent.

If you are facing a workplace investigation or disciplinary process, it may be important to not just get informed about your rights, but also to get legal advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a workplace investigation?

The essential function of a workplace investigation is to find the truth based on a fair examination of the available evidence.

There are many reasons why an employer may seek a workplace investigation to be conducted:

  • Workplace investigations are often used as part of a disciplinary process
  • Employers may have a concern about an issue in the workplace
  • Legal obligations may exist for an investigation to be conducted
  • Failure to investigate an issue may pose legal and reputational risks

If you are the subject of a workplace investigation looking into allegations you believe or know to be false, wrong or vexatious, the only purpose you have is to clear your name. An unfair workplace investigation wrongly undermines your ability to answer the accusations. Instead of enforcing workplace standards, complying with legal obligations and managing workplace risks, an unfair workplace investigation undermines all of these things.

Types of workplace investigations

For any employer contemplating commencing a workplace investigation into an allegation or issue that has arisen, it is critical to understand the options available. The different types of workplace investigations available need to be considered to determine what will be appropriate in the circumstances. There are essentially four different types of workplace investigations that employers should contemplate (outlined below):

The type of workplace investigation may be informed by the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees. Types of workplace investigations include:

  • Preliminary investigations
  • Internal investigations
  • Guided investigations
  • External investigations

In order to decide which type of investigation is appropriate, it is necessary to ask a few questions:

  • Is an investigation necessary?
  • What is the nature of the issue?
  • Who should investigate the issue?

A workplace investigation must balance several considerations. There must be procedural fairness afforded to both complainants and respondents. The potential damage to reputations and careers from allegations in the workplace can be significant. Whether disputed or not, allegations can cause distress and panic in the workplace. It is why anyone dealing with a workplace investigation should ensure they understand their full rights and responsibilities.

Understand how this firm can help you

About Andrew Anderson

About Andrew Anderson

Do you need an experienced lawyer to help address a workplace investigation issue affecting you?

Andrew Anderson guides his clients through challenging, complex and serious problems. He has a proven and successful record.

About Andrew Anderson
How this firm can assist you
How this firm can assist you

How this firm can assist you

>> Advise on resolving conflicts of interest

>> Defining the scope of an investigation

>> Drafting letters to hire investigators

>> Guide disciplinary processes

>> Litigate claims before courts and tribunals

Book a consultation to get legal advice

Fixed-price initial consultation

Fixed-Price Consultation
One-Hour Consultation
Confidential
No-Obligation Consultation

A fixed-price initial consultation is $495 incl. GST for up to one hour, which may be tax deductible (consult your tax advisor).

If you are dealing with a workplace investigation and want legal advice, book an appointment for an initial consultation with Anderson Legal. You will receive clear and timely advice that allows you to understand the relevant legal issues and make informed choices about your options.

An initial consultation with Anderson Legal is obligation-free, meaning there is no expectation or commitment to additional legal work or costs. As such, following the initial consultation, if you want to engage this firm for further advice or legal representation, you will receive an estimate of costs as far as possible.

Initial consultations are by appointment only, with in-person, video, and phone options possible.

Unfair Workplace Investigations

Unfair Workplace Investigations

Unfair Workplace Investigations

Unfair workplace investigations are avoidable. They create unnecessary risks for employers and employees.

If you face a workplace investigation you feel is unfair, you should get urgent legal advice to protect your interests.

Are you facing an unfair workplace investigation?

This firm defends people facing unfair situations at work.

Learn about unfair workplace investigations

A starting point

A starting point…

Are you facing an unfair workplace investigation?

When faced with an investigation, it can help to get informed about potential issues and options.

Just keep in mind that general information is no substitute for legal advice from a lawyer.

A starting point
Potential issues
Potential issues

Issues you may encounter

>> Enforcing rights during investigations

>> Responding to claims and allegations

>> Attending interviews with investigators

>> Negotiating alternative resolutions

>> Contesting unfair processes

Contesting an unfair workplace investigation

There are several actions an employee may take to challenge unfair investigations and processes. This includes:

  • internal appeals against the process, as may be provided for in a modern award, enterprise agreement, employment contract, or the policies and procedures of a workplace;
  • filing an injunction to stop the workplace investigation;
  • filing a ‘stop-bullying’ claim in the Fair Work Commission;
  • filing an unfair dismissal claim in the Fair Work Commission;
  • filing a general protections claim in the Fair Work Commission;
  • filing a discrimination claim in anti-discrimination commission or tribunal, such as the Queensland Human Rights Commission (QHRC) or Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC); or,
  • filing a breach of contract claim in a court.

Disputed workplace investigations can create legal, financial and reputational risks to businesses and organisations. Unfair workplace investigations can also unfairly jeopardise the employment of executives and employees.

Articles & Webinars

Unfair Workplace Investigations

Unfair workplace investigations

Unfair workplace investigations

A fair workplace investigation may help to enforce workplace standards, comply with legal obligations, and minimise legal risks. However, an unfair workplace investigation can do the opposite.
Employers may face legal action for the harm or damage caused through inadequate or unfair workplace investigations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a workplace investigation?

The essential function of a workplace investigation is to find the truth based on a fair examination of the available evidence.

There are many reasons why an employer may seek a workplace investigation to be conducted:

  • Workplace investigations are often used as part of a disciplinary process
  • Employers may have a concern about an issue in the workplace
  • Legal obligations may exist for an investigation to be conducted
  • Failure to investigate an issue may pose legal and reputational risks

If you are the subject of a workplace investigation looking into allegations you believe or know to be false, wrong or vexatious, the only purpose you have is to clear your name. An unfair workplace investigation wrongly undermines your ability to answer the accusations. Instead of enforcing workplace standards, complying with legal obligations and managing workplace risks, an unfair workplace investigation undermines all of these things.

Types of workplace investigations

For any employer contemplating commencing a workplace investigation into an allegation or issue that has arisen, it is critical to understand the options available. The different types of workplace investigations available need to be considered to determine what will be appropriate in the circumstances. There are essentially four different types of workplace investigations that employers should contemplate (outlined below):

The type of workplace investigation may be informed by the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees. Types of workplace investigations include:

  • Preliminary investigations
  • Internal investigations
  • Guided investigations
  • External investigations

In order to decide which type of investigation is appropriate, it is necessary to ask a few questions:

  • Is an investigation necessary?
  • What is the nature of the issue?
  • Who should investigate the issue?

A workplace investigation must balance several considerations. There must be procedural fairness afforded to both complainants and respondents. The potential damage to reputations and careers from allegations in the workplace can be significant. Whether disputed or not, allegations can cause distress and panic in the workplace. It is why anyone dealing with a workplace investigation should ensure they understand their full rights and responsibilities.

Understand how this firm can help you

About Andrew Anderson

About Andrew Anderson

Do you need an experienced lawyer to help you respond to a workplace investigation you face?

Andrew Anderson guides his clients through challenging, complex and serious problems. He has a proven and successful record.

About Andrew Anderson
How this firm can assist you
How this firm can assist you

How this firm can assist you

>> Advise on how to enforce your rights

>> Negotiate resolutions to complaints

>> Defend your interests during investigations

>> Prepare responses to claims on your behalf

>> Litigate claims before courts and tribunals

Fixed-price initial consultation

Fixed-Price Consultation
One-Hour Consultation
Confidential
No-Obligation Consultation

A fixed-price initial consultation is $495 incl. GST for up to one hour, which may be tax deductible (consult your tax advisor).

If you are facing a workplace investigation and need legal advice, book an appointment for an initial consultation with this firm. You will receive clear and timely advice that allows you to understand the relevant legal issues and make informed choices about your options.

An initial consultation with Anderson Legal is obligation-free, meaning there is no expectation or commitment to additional legal work or costs. As such, following the initial consultation, if you want to engage this firm for further advice or legal representation, you will receive an estimate of costs as far as possible.

Initial consultations are by appointment only, with in-person, video, and phone options possible.