PLANNING & MANAGING EFFECTIVE WORKPLACE INVESTIGATIONS
Wellington: September 9 | Auckland: September 16
Facilitated by Simpson Grierson Lawyers and held in conjunction with the HR Law Masterclass NZ conference, this pre-conference workshop will help unravel complexities of investigations.
8.20 Registration and welcome coffee
Course duration: 9.00 am – 4.30 pm, including networking breaks
PLANNING AND PREPARING FOR THE INVESTIGATION
Procedural fairness and the statutory framework
- Ensuring procedural fairness, independence, transparency, and standards of proof
- Gain an overview of the practical implications of key legislation (including the Employment Relations Act, Human Rights Act, Privacy Act, Health and Safety at Work Act, Protected Disclosures Act and Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015)
Preliminary issues to consider
- Review factors influencing whether an investigation should be undertaken - assessing seriousness of allegations, complexities of complaints, and consequences of failing to investigate
- Assessing when a formal investigation is appropriate
- Determining other suitable legally acceptable avenues for conflict resolution
- Identifying an investigator – internal or external?
- Legal professional privilege
- Ascertaining the purpose and scope of the investigation
- Timeframes for investigations
THE INVESTIGATION PROCESS
Conducting an effective investigation process
- Planning - the importance of not over complicating investigations
- What should the Terms of Reference cover, and who should prepare them?
- Evidence gathering prior to interviews
- Deciding who to interview and in what order
- Designing an effective questions framework
- Setting expectations of people involved
- Ensuring complainant and witness anonymity
- Record keeping and maintaining confidentiality
- Investigative interview techniques and style – balancing sensitivity with the need to ensure robust investigation
Managing difficult issues in investigations
- Dealing with conflicts of interest
- Sick/stress leave
- Handling requests for anonymity and silence
- Parallel criminal investigations (Police reporting, the rights to silence and against self-incrimination)
- Handling information requests
- Managing difficult representatives
- Maintaining independence
Case law reviews
- When investigations go right, when they go wrong, and what we can learn from the outcomes
FINALISING THE INVESTIGATION AND NEXT STEPS
- Evaluating the evidence
- Dealing with conflicting evidence
- Tips on how to make well-reasoned findings of fact, assessments of credibility and determining whether factual findings meet relevant definitions such as for bullying, sexual or racial harassment, or discrimination under legislative definitions, policies and/or case law
- What should and shouldn't a report contain? Is it legally privileged?
- Producing a report that will withstand external scrutiny and challenge
- What information do you need to provide to the respondent, complainant, witnesses?
- Evaluating likely outcomes of the investigation process
Book this workshop as an add-on to the HR Law Masterclass Conference and save with our special package!