Workplace Investigations Sydney | HR Investigation
Workplace investigations are becoming more common in Australian Workplaces. As employees of organisations of all sizes bring complaints forward to management, it is increasingly difficult to gain a clear understanding of who is telling the truth and what the facts of any matter are. With rather serious consequences likely to befall upon one or more of the staff involved and potential legal ramifications resulting from these matters, it is important you make the right decision. That is why more organisations are turning to Precision Integrity Private Investigators Sydney to get the full picture. Our decades of experience and expertise provide unrivalled insights into what is truly taking place, finding the heart of the issue so the right decision can be made. If you have a workplace matter that needs investigating contact one of our consultants today.
Types of Workplace Matters We Investigate
Our investigation of workplace matters extends across a broad range of acts and industry sectors. Precision Integrity Private Investigators Sydney can investigate matters in the workplace which amount to:
Bullying & harassment
Breaches of the Code of Conduct
Breach of employment Contracts
Conflicts of interest
Intellectual Property (IP) theft
Stock Shrinkage & loss
Sexual misconduct in the workplace (including child protection matters)
Vexatious & retaliatory complaints
Threats against staff
Acts amounting to serious misconduct and many other nefarious acts.
We have investigated these matters in both for profit and not for profit organisations. This includes I.T. companies, manufacturing companies, consultancies, transport companies, NDIS providers, out of home care providers, charities, government departments and more. With our diverse experience we can investigate any industry or sector which sees people employed or volunteer.
The Benefits of Using External Professional Investigators
So why use professional investigators and not just a manager or a human resources staff member to attend to your investigations? The answer is multifaceted, but below are just a few reasons which highlight the advantage you gain in using our service:
One of the most important criteria in any investigation is maintaining objectivity. But when an investigation is undertaken in house then both parties to the investigation may claim that the outcome of that investigation was affected by the bias of the investigator. As external investigators we do not have an allegiance to a side. Internal workplace politics does not affect our investigation. Our investigators have no agenda for promotion or concern about future appearance of friendship. They are there to achieve an outcome, and their professional future is jeopardised if their investigations are one sided and unfair. Removing the potential for bias also removes a substantial reason an investigation may be challenged in the future.
Put simply everyone has the capacity to exert influence over others that they are in contact with. That influence may be to move another person closer to or further away from an action. It may be to make management perceive another in a poor light or themselves in a better light. But whatever the reason, influence has an impact of the objectivity and the way a person is perceived so that the truth is less likely to come out. As trained investigators external to the organisation, our workplace investigators look at all parties through fresh eyes. They don’t accept statements by employees at face value, they test the evidence where others would accept a version from an involved party or a witness at face value. Due to this, we often see that influence of people has derailed investigations, creating unjust outcomes and costing organisations and individual’s large sums of money in the process.
Due to our level of experience and expertise when we look at an investigation from the very first meeting with the client right through to when the report is in final draft and being polished, we are using our knowledge to forecast what issues are pertinent and which can be put to the side. We know what an independent reviewer, panel or tribunal will give closer attention to. In so doing we ensure the investigation stands up to scrutiny. Without this many investigations in the workplace fall at the first hurdle. They do not address all the relevant issues and hypotheses available and as such their findings offer little of value and the investigation is either considered invalid or another investigation is required. This then costs the employer more time and money and increases the cost of lost productivity and politics in the workplace.
Managing Criminal Offences
It is relatively common for our investigators to uncover acts that would be in breach of the criminal statutes. As former Detectives they have the knowledge of what must be done to elicit the best evidence from witnesses and offenders and how the legalities can be navigated so the evidence can be used in the criminal courts. Almost all HR teams and internal investigations are deficient in their knowledge of this field. Many are unaware that the issue they are investigating if proven would amount to a criminal act that should be handled by the Police. With the NSW Crimes act alone codifying more than 580 offences (many with multiple sub offences), having a clear understanding of criminal law becomes very important for workplace investigators. Why is this important for you as an employer? It means when we conduct the investigation for you, that should the individual in question be found guilty of a criminal act may be able to gain victims compensation and will have a much greater success in gaining compensation through civil court from the offender as well. This results in far more financial benefits for an employer than trying to simply dismiss an employee.
Inculpatory Vs Exculpatory
If you look at the words inculpatory and exculpatory and you don’t know what they mean or how they are different (except in the spelling) you probably don’t have the skills to be even a trainee investigator. The difference here is one refers to evidence that tends to show an employee in a workplace investigation is guilty and one refers to evidence which trends to suggest an employee is innocent. Now whilst this may seem like a relatively simple concept, the truth is nearly every internal investigation we have reviewed has focused solely on finding evidence to prove the person thought to have committed the offence (be it against criminal law, codes of conduct or workplace standards) were truly the perpetrator. In the hands of our skilled professional workplace investigators (all hand-picked from the ranks of revered dedicated Police Detectives) we have on occasion been able to find evidence that shows without a shadow of doubt, that the person accused of wrongdoing was innocent. That is not to say that all these investigations were undertaken with prejudice. But in general, we see the “investigator” fell victim to tunnel vision when they believed their job in investigating the matter was proving that the person nominated in the complaint committed the stated act. Rather than letting all the evidence led them to the true culprit.
Giving Evidence in Court
When these matters go before a court or tribunal most internal investigators fail. As our investigators have years of experience not just in investigations but in presenting evidence in court, we are at ease in the court room. Our investigators have given evidence for days at a time in local, district and the supreme court and are well versed in the expectation and etiquette of the court. Their professionalism stands up to scrutiny and ensures our clients get the best possible results should a matter proceed to a judicial setting.
Whilst the above is not the only reason you and your organisation should seek external workplace investigators, it is clear that as Private investigators external to your workplace we have the capability to get you the answers you need.