December 8, 2018 | Taj Soloman

Human Resources (HR) | Investigations

When It Goes Wrong!

Workplace functions can be fun and can also cause a lot of headaches for employers

Case by the Fair Work Commission

An employee had consumed large amounts of alcohol at a work function and was involved in a number of inappropriate incidents with fellow employees and management. The Employee conducted himself in an inappropriate manner.

The Facts:

  • Sexually harassed multiple employees both physically and verbally
  • Bullied another employee on multiple occasions
  • Swore at his manager
  • Harassed an employee on multiple occasions

The Result

The employer decided to terminate this employee due to his behaviour and actions however the Fair Work Commission held that the dismissal was unfair.

There reason behind this decision was their claim that the allegations against him were never truly put to him. The Commission concluded that during the investigation, the employee was not provided with procedural fairness because he was asked general, open handed questions and therefore unable to respond appropriately. Furthermore, the Employee was not provided with a support person throughout the investigation.

Our Advice

When an investigation takes place, ensure you conduct a thorough investigation by paying attention to the entirety of the incident. There are many points to consider when conducting an investigation however as a general rule of thumb, we recommend the following:

  • Gain details of the incident
  • Use Witnesses
  • Explain in detail, the allegations against the employee
  • Advise the employee that their role may be terminated as a result of this incident
  • Allow the employee a support person throughout the investigation
  • Provide an opportunity and enough time to respond
  • Always afford the employee investigated with procedural fairness

How can we Help

Our staff possess over 15 years experience in Human Resources and we can help your business with the “know how” on how to deal with employee issues.

Outsource your HR and Payroll to us and focus on what really matters, your business!

About The Author:

Taj Soloman
Taj Soloman is an established people management professional with experience spanning Payroll, Human Resources, Industrial Relations, Employee Relations and Workplace Health and Safety.
Taj is also the co-founder of HR Pay Solutions providing customers with a total solution to employee management.