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If you employ a workforce, chances are you will at some stage be called upon to investigate and adjudicate allegations of employee misconduct.
The process can be complex.
On one hand, investigations in the workplace should be structured and carried out in accordance with a proper procedure.
On the other, you may be required to act promptly and decisively to minimise disruption to your business, or in circumstances where employees’ health and safety may be at risk.
Striking the right balance can be difficult and investigating allegations of misconduct in the workplace may involve:
- carefully considering the nature of any allegations to determine a proper process;
- taking complaints;
- interviewing witnesses;
- taking statements from employees and others;
- setting out allegations in writing,
- standing down employees;
- providing employees the opportunity to respond to allegations against them;
- deciding on any appropriate disciplinary action.
The consequences for taking disciplinary or other adverse action against an employee without just cause, or without following a proper process, can be severe.
Similarly if misconduct has occurred, any disciplinary action must be proportionate to the extent of any misconduct – the punishment needs to fit the crime.
If you would like more information on conducting a workplace investigation, implementing disciplinary action up to and including dismissal or implementing a performance management plan for an employee, please contact us on 4936 9100 or firstname.lastname@example.org
It is important to seek specific advice regarding your circumstances as this fact sheet provides general information only and does not constitute legal advice.
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