There are many reasons why you may need to conduct workplace investigation interviews. There may have been an incident that needs further examination, or there could be allegations made against an employee including fraud, harassment or bullying. Whatever the need for the investigation, there are rules that need to be followed to ensure that all parties have a fair hearing and that the right outcomes are achieved.
Whilst these rules are not enshrined in any legislation or legally binding documentation, they are going to ensure that you are more likely to get the information you are looking for. These rules provide the roadmap you need for a successful interview that is fair to all parties.
It all begins with proper planning. Set up a formal order of proceedings so that everybody is aware of what is happening. The complainant should always be the first to be interviewed so that you can get all the detail possible about their complaint and the circumstances surrounding it. All parties should be advised that they are allowed to have a support person present. Ensure that you have outlined a clear purpose for the interview, create broad topics and then drill down into narrow subtopics. When you are conducting the interview remember to:
During the planning phase of workplace investigation interviews, it is critical to take into consideration the legislated rules that you need to follow to ensure your interviews are lawful.
Evidence is extremely important in determining an outcome from your investigation, but only evidence that directly relates to the matter at hand should be considered. Just because the respondent may have behaved in a certain way in the past, does not mean that they have behaved that way in this instance. There are four types of evidence to consider including:
There are six primary rights that all respondents have in workplace investigation interviews that fall under procedural fairness that include:
To ensure that a fair interview process is conducted and that the final outcome will be upheld, it is imperative that all of these rules are followed.
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