- it is important that the organisation be seen to be impartial in the matter
- there could be a perception of an internal conflict of interest or bias
- the outcome of the investigation will likely be subject to external review
- the investigation involves executives, senior management or senior employees
- a matter is potentially serious enough to result in a termination of employment
- it is important that an employee can see that their complaint or grievance has been taken seriously, and
- the matter cannot be handled objectively if addressed internally or if an organisation does not have suitably skilled and or experienced resources.
- An internal investigation may not withstand external scrutiny or legal challenge due to procedural failings.
- Failures in internal workplace investigations are prone to claims of unfair dismissal or adverse action.
- Once identified, procedural failings in a workplace investigation can override an otherwise valid reason for dismissing an employee.
- Employees (involved in the investigation or otherwise) may not perceive an internal investigation process as being impartial.
- An employee may perceive that their grievance was not taken seriously by the organisation.
We investigate matters thoroughly, efficiently and with discretion. Our approach is confidential, impartial, and in strict accordance with the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness.
- A successful investigation identifies sufficient information and evidence to make a clear determination ‘on the balance of probabilities’ on what has occurred, and whether the allegations are substantiated or unsubstantiated.
- It provides the client with a clear basis with which to determine the most appropriate manner to respond to the matter.
- Where requested, systemic and/or operational issues can be identified and recommendations made on the best course of action to address these issues.
- All participants in the investigative process feel that the process has been fair and impartial.
- The investigation is conducted in a manner that withstands external or legal scrutiny.
- Our clients are provided with an investigation report outlining the findings of the investigation, identifying whether the allegations are substantiated or unsubstantiated.
- A decision maker in the client organisation then determines the appropriate response and course of action (e.g. no action required /disciplinary action required / termination of employment etc.)
• Where appropriate, Kingston Darcy can recommend and provide post-investigation support strategies to assist clients rebuild working relationships after an investigation (including mediation or conflict coaching).
- Employees must have confidence in the mediation process for it to be successful. Hiring an external, professional mediator is proven to increase the confidence of participants in the mediation process and as such increases the likelihood of a successful resolution.
- An external mediator is neutral or impartial. The perception of neutrality and objectivity is crucial to the participants feeling able to engage in open and frank discussion.
- Confidentiality is better ensured through the appointment of an external mediator: it can be difficult for an internal mediator to maintain a strong perception of confidentiality due to their dual role of mediator and fellow employee
- As a general response: no. Successful mediation requires a professionally trained and experienced mediator. Complex disputes require extensive practical experience and specialist knowledge to obtain a successful resolution.
- When mediation is conducted internally, participants are usually aware of the potential of having to work with the mediator in the future. There is also the risk that an internal mediator will bring their own preconceptions about the parties into the mediation.
• The mediator may also prepare a report for the client organisation which outlines the process undertaken and the outcomes achieved. The report does NOT disclose any confidential information about what occurred during the mediation or what was discussed during the mediation process.
• On the rare occasion where mediation is not successful, the mediator will prepare a report for the client organisation that outlines the process undertaken and the resulting outcome. The report may also suggest some alternative strategies for dealing with the dispute or conflict.
- an employee under investigation is presumed innocent until it is proven otherwise (on the balance of probabilities)
- an employee under investigation has the allegations put to them (in writing) in sufficient detail to enable them to provide a response
- a full investigation is conducted, considering all legitimate avenues of enquiry, and available evidence
- an employee under investigation is given sufficient time to consider their response to the allegations before being asked to answer questions about them at interview
- an employee under investigation is provided with the opportunity to have a support person present during interviews
- an employee under investigation is entitled to have their responses to the allegations against them properly considered, and any further investigation necessary arising out of their response conducted before a final decision is made as to the findings, and
- the findings made in respect to each allegation are justifiable on the basis of the evidence obtained during the investigation.