Workplace Investigations for Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

Outsourcing the task to an independent HR Consultant ensures the issue is dealt with in on the company’s behalf in an impartial, considerate and professional way.

Ensuring that issues are is dealt with in an impartial, considerate and professional way

Allegations of bullying, discrimination, sexual harassment and misconduct are all issues that can arise within the workplace. 

The investigation, hearing or appeal stage of any such allegation can present challenges to management, whether it’s the time required to ensure a robust and in-depth process is followed, concern of conflict of interest or inexperience.

Outsourcing the task to an independent HR Consultant ensures the issue is dealt with in on the company’s behalf in an impartial, considerate and professional way.

Engaging one of our experienced HR Consultants will ensure you:

  • Communicate with all staff and management involved in a timely and transparent manner
  • Follow a compliant process that dovetails ACAS code of practice
  • Investigate the allegations impartially
  • Minimise the amount of senior management time needed to dedicate to the process
  • Receive a comprehensive investigation findings report
  • Have professional HR support available for any further actions needed following the investigation, whether this be mediation, to help rebuild work place relationships , disciplinary action or mutually agreed exits from the business via settlement agreements.

Clients requiring an independent professional to deal with a particularly complex or sensitive matter often use this service. This service is also used regularly by many smaller organisations where members of the senior management are implicated, or they simply don’t have an impartial individual available to conduct the hearing.

Our Independent Workplace Investigations Services include:

Case meeting and document review and preparation

Management or complainant, respondent and witness interviews

Findings report and/or outcome, recommendations

Direct liaison with Employment lawyers and Insurers

Drafting of all associated documentation throughout the process

Appeal hearings

Disciplinary Grievance & Management

Potential disciplinary and grievance issues can often be resolved informally. For those that can’t, we offer operational support to help manage formal grievance and disciplinary procedures from beginning to end.

Our service offering includes:

  • Working with management prior to the issue becoming formalised in an attempt to resolve issues and prevent them from escalating unnecessarily 
  • Drafting or reviewing letters and documentation to ensure an appropriate paper trail is captured and accurately maintained.
  • Supporting a manager throughout the investigation or hearing process to ensure appropriate procedures are followed in accordance with ACSS guidelines
  • Advising and drafting communication documents to proactively manage staff communication and maintain morale
  • Workplace mediation services for personal conflict situations 
  • Independently conducting investigations or hearings
  • Providing administrative support by documenting confidential file notes 
  • Negotiating and drafting terms for any Settlement Agreements for any mutually agreed staff or management departures 
  • Provision of management guides and training on disciplinary, grievance and investigatory matters to increase awareness, knowledge of processes and ensure a consistent approach is taken across the organisation

Workplace Mediation

An informal, credible and cost-effective method of resolving disputes

Working relationships can breakdown

Formal grievance or disciplinary situations can often make matters worse

Friction can filter across teams and staff can become de-motivated and unproductive

Managers spend excessive hours trying to deal with the fall out when they have other priorities

Workplace conflict is inevitable in any work setting as individuals with different views, work practices and values will encounter situations where they disagree or ‘clash’.

The impact of these situations can become a significant burden for all concerned. Workplace mediation is a very credible and cost-effective method of resolving disputes.

Workplace mediation is a very credible and cost-effective method of resolving disputes. The process is voluntary and simply assists people who are in dispute to start talking again, reaching mutual agreement that works for both parties and resolving previous difficulties.  

As the process is informal, the parties have nothing to lose by participating.

How does mediation actually work?

1. Pre Meeting

A mediator plays an impartial role in facilitating a resolution to conflict.  Initially, the mediator meets with each party separately, making them feel as comfortable as possible.

By the end of each meeting the mediator would expect to have a full understanding of what each party’s ideal outcome is in order to reach a satisfactory resolution.

2. Mediation Session

Once all preparation has occurred, the face to face mediation session commences and focuses on identifying key issues. Once this has been achieved, by recognising and acknowledging the needs of each party, the mediator can then highlight common ground to provide areas of focus for the future and to assist in reaching resolution.

The mediator plays a key role in identifying opportunities during this dialogue to assist in moving the process forward. Going through this process allows the mediator to channel the discussion towards actions, ensuring that the discussion remains as positive and constructive as possible.

This penultimate stage occurs when both parties’ are ready to share their thoughts on how to end the dispute. The mediator’s role at this particular stage is to help generate ideas and options rather than providing answers.

Once the options are exhausted, the parties’ can then assess whether they feel they are realistic and workable. They also need to feel comfortable that they satisfy their interests and are potentially win-win scenarios.

3. Mediation Agreement

At the point of reaching agreed outcomes, a mediation agreement is drafted and signed by both parties. The document is not legally binding but does show mutual commitment on both sides to try and resolve the issue.

Discussion will occur as to whether a follow up or monitoring period is required.

If you would like to discuss how any of our independent workplace investigation services can benefit your business, please get in touch.