Workdynamic investigators have extensive experience in managing and conducting workplace investigations for top-tier organisations Australia-wide. We understand what is needed to run an effective and sound investigation that can withstand legal scrutiny. We also understand the relevant legal issues, such as workplace bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment, as well as the importance of legal professional privilege and procedural fairness.
Workdynamic will assist your organisation to avoid internal conflicts of interest. We will also free up your human resources team to focus on their jobs without the added distraction of running an investigation.
How we can help
Workdynamic recognises the importance of:
- clearly defining the scope of the investigation;
- distinguishing between factual and legal findings;
- efficiency, confidentially and procedural fairness; and
- tailoring the breadth of the investigation to meet your specific needs.
Workdynamic investigators have dealt with and negotiated with all types of workplace participants. We have extensive experience presenting to boards of directors and senior management, negotiating with union officials and dealing directly with individual employees.
All investigations are conducted in an impartial, sensitive, professional and fair manner.
When to use Workdynamic?
Your organisation needs Workdynamic if:
- you don’t have a suitably skilled internal investigator available;
- there is an actual or potential conflict of interest;
- there is a resourcing issue with your internal investigation team;
- the allegations under investigation involve serious issues or senior employees;
- it is likely that the outcome of the investigation will be subject to external scrutiny or challenge;
- the outcome of the investigation needs to be reported to an external body (such as a WHS regulator or insurer); or
- the investigative process will become part of your defence to a claim of vicarious liability (eg as part of a discrimination or general protections claim).
Workdynamic will manage the entire investigation process from initial interview and will deliver a formal report that can withstand legal scrutiny.
Workdynamic investigators are specialists in conducting comprehensive and efficient investigations. Under this option, Workdynamic will manage the entire investigation process from initial interview to final report.
In particular, Workdynamic will:
- work with the client or their legal advisor to determine the scope of the investigation. This includes identifying witnesses, determining the order in which witnesses are interviewed; drafting confidentiality undertakings for witnesses to sign, determining record keeping protocols and agreeing key issues and findings to be identified in the report;
- interviewing witnesses (either at your office or an agreed neutral location);
- preparing transcripts and written statements (if agreed as per the protocol);
- dealing with issues arising from a witness’s choice of support person;
- determining when, and to what extent, contradictory or new evidence should be put to the witnesses for their response;
- reviewing extraneous and additional evidence (such as CCTV footage, emails etc);
- obtaining and evaluating advice from appropriately qualified experts on technical matters (if required); and
- preparing a comprehensive written report clearly setting out the findings of fact.
FACTUAL AND LEGAL FINDINGS
You may require legal professional privilege to protect your company against any anticipated litigation. In this investigation package we report on findings of fact and also advise on the legal implications to your company.
While all Workdynamic reports are written to withstand legal scrutiny and challenge, an important consideration is whether an organisation may be able to claim legal professional privilege over the report in any subsequent litigation.
As Workdynamic investigators are legally qualified with current practising certificates, organisations can engage Workdynamic to make factual as well as legal findings (such as applying the law or an organisations’ policies and procedures to the factual findings). If a report is found to have been prepared for the dominant purpose of providing legal advice or use in anticipated litigation, legal professional privilege may arise.
Alternatively, the report may attract legal professional privilege where Workdynamic is engaged through an organisations’ legal advisor and the primary purpose of the report is to allow the legal advisor to provide legal advice to the organisation.
PROVISION OF GUIDANCE & ASSISTANCE
Workdynamic will act as both a guide and soundboard for your internal investigation team to ensure procedural fairness and that the outcome withstands legal scrutiny.
Where a client intends to conduct an investigation internally, Workdynamic can assist by:
- providing a “sounding board” for the investigator;
- providing guidance regarding procedural fairness questions including :
- identifying witnesses;
- determining the order witnesses are interviewed;
- assisting with “scripts” or guidance notes for the interviews;
- drafting confidentiality undertaking for witnesses to sign;
- dealing with issues arising from a witnesses’ choice of support person including drafting ‘support person’ acknowledgments;
- determining the appropriate record keeping process for the interview- for example determining whether it is necessary to tape and create a transcript of the interviews, whether it is necessary to prepare a written statement to confirm the witnesses’ evidence; identifying an appropriate note taker and guidance regarding what notes should be taken;
- assisting the investigator to determine when contradictory evidence or evidence relating to new issues should be put to other witnesses;
- reviewing and providing assistance in drafting the investigator report;
- advising on the relevance and weight given to extraneous or collateral evidence;
- assisting organisations to notify participants of the outcome of the investigation.
Identification and resolution of cultural and systemic issues
Workdynamic can also assist in identifying cultural and systemic issues that arise during the investigation. Such issues could include management deficiencies, process failures or deficiencies in policies, procedures and training.
Workdynamic can also assist in developing and presenting training programs to address cultural and systemic issues. In addition, we can provide advice in cases of false, vexatious or misconceived allegations.
Workdynamic can also assist in managing the consequences and outcomes of the investigation if necessary.