Workplace Investigations

A review by the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Fair Work Commission decisions illustrated that the outcome for the employer may be influenced by whether an investigation was conducted AND whether the investigation was conducted by an internal or external resource. As we would expect, better investigations often lead to better outcomes when it comes to making difficult decisions around termination of employment.

Workplace Investigations can be critical tools in:

  • Managing employee grievances
  • Targeting poor conduct and behavior
  • Responding to employee complaints
  • Assessing workplace incidents


In a practical sense, the importance of an employer assessing and managing risk in their organisation arises from obligations under a number of pieces of legislation, including Workhealth and safety, discrimination and the Fair Work Act.

From 1 January 2014, the Fair Work Commission has had the power to hear applications from employees in respect of bullying. This represents a further avenue whereby employers may need to defend their actions, or satisfy the commission that they are able to successfully resolve and manage a bullying issue.

Not only is there the potential cost to an employer of substantiated claims arising from incorrect handling procedures but also in terms of the effects they can have on a workplace in terms of lost productivity, low morale, absenteeism and staff turnover. The Victorian Chamber’s skilled consultants can help protect your business by:

  • Conducting training for managers and team leaders in conducting investigations
  • Conducting independent investigations into allegations of inappropriate workplace behaviors
  • Assisting employers in responding to claims or complaints
  • Providing ongoing support to ensure that issues of concern are managed and your risk reduced

Frequently asked questions

  • One of my employees has made a workplace complaint. What do I do?
  • How do I investigate a workplace issue?
  • How do I put in place an effective policy in my business?