Phil O'Brien
  • Sydney NSW
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Phil O'Brien's Page

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A blog post by Phil O'Brien was featured

Workplace bullying and sexual harassment: no complaint, no witnesses

What do you do if you know or suspect that the culture is bad & that bullying & sexual harassment is happening, but you don’t have any proof or actual complaints.This can be tough as you have a duty of care to take all reasonable steps to provide a workplace that is free from bullying & sexual harassment, so I recommend a 3 step approach.1. Conduct training to outline what bullying & sexual harassment are, the behavioural expectations of your organisation & to emphasise that…See More
Apr 26
2 blog posts by Phil O'Brien were featured
Apr 24
Phil O'Brien posted blog posts
Apr 24
A blog post by Phil O'Brien was featured

Workplace Complaint Investigation - reluctant complainants

How many of you have encountered the problem when a complaint is made but the complainant tells you that they don’t want the matter investigatedI often get asked by HR professional and managers, “What do I do if someone makes a complaint and then says that they don’t want me to do anything, they just wanted me to know.”Despite what people think this is not a difficult situation, it becomes all about ownership of the complaint.Once someone has made a complaint to you, YOU now own the complaint,…See More
Mar 20
Phil O'Brien posted a blog post

Workplace Complaint Investigation - reluctant complainants

How many of you have encountered the problem when a complaint is made but the complainant tells you that they don’t want the matter investigatedI often get asked by HR professional and managers, “What do I do if someone makes a complaint and then says that they don’t want me to do anything, they just wanted me to know.”Despite what people think this is not a difficult situation, it becomes all about ownership of the complaint.Once someone has made a complaint to you, YOU now own the complaint,…See More
Mar 19
A blog post by Phil O'Brien was featured

Workplace Investigations: How to set out allegation letters

Workplace Investigation Allegation Letters. This article addresses the how and the format of allegation letters.In a workplace investigation allegation letters are used to advise the person subject of the complaint about what has been alleged and also to invite that person to attend an interview to provide their version of events or their side of the story.There are certain components that I recommend you include in an allegation letter, the section in italics are examples only;The…See More
Feb 13
Phil O'Brien posted blog posts
Feb 13
A blog post by Phil O'Brien was featured

Workplace investigations: drafting allegations

Workplace investigations drafting allegations – One of the most important parts of workplace investigations is the drafting of the allegations to be put to the person subject of a complaint. There are a number of important considerations;Timing: Personally I interview the complainant first, then witnesses and then gather any other available evidence before attempting to draft allegations. I know of others who like to interview the respondent (the person subject of the complaint) earlier, but I…See More
Feb 12
A blog post by Phil O'Brien was featured

Workplace Investigations - Do it yourself or call in an expert?

Conducting workplace investigations into employee misconduct or complaints such as bullying, harassment or sexual harassment should be fairly straight forward and not beyond the skill set of managers or generalist HR professionals or is it?Consider the case of Paulson v Industrial Relations Secretary (Department of Justice) heard at the NSW Industrial Relations Commission to final…See More
Dec 6, 2017
Phil O'Brien posted a blog post

Workplace Investigations - Do it yourself or call in an expert?

Conducting workplace investigations into employee misconduct or complaints such as bullying, harassment or sexual harassment should be fairly straight forward and not beyond the skill set of managers or generalist HR professionals or is it?Consider the case of Paulson v Industrial Relations Secretary (Department of Justice) heard at the NSW Industrial Relations Commission to final…See More
Dec 6, 2017
A blog post by Phil O'Brien was featured

Sexual Harassment Investigation

With the increasing publicity surrounding sexual harassment in Hollywood and the #MeToo campaign it may only a matter of time before there is an increase in the reporting of sexual harassment complaints in the workplace, is your organisation ready to deal with complaints?Responding promptly and correctly is in the best interests of victims and the organisation.  For the organisation or business failing to deal with complaints can result in costly litigation, the loss of good staff, a toxic…See More
Nov 28, 2017
Phil O'Brien posted a blog post

Sexual Harassment Investigation

With the increasing publicity surrounding sexual harassment in Hollywood and the #MeToo campaign it may only a matter of time before there is an increase in the reporting of sexual harassment complaints in the workplace, is your organisation ready to deal with complaints?Responding promptly and correctly is in the best interests of victims and the organisation.  For the organisation or business failing to deal with complaints can result in costly litigation, the loss of good staff, a toxic…See More
Nov 28, 2017
Phil O'Brien posted blog posts
Oct 16, 2017
A blog post by Phil O'Brien was featured

Are managers and HR professionals the forgotten victims of complaints in the workplace?

We know that bullying, harassment and sexual harassment in the workplace is stressful to the victims, but it is often forgotten that the responsibility for dealing with and/or investigating these matters can also be very stressful on managers and HR professionals.I wonder if this stress is the cause of investigations either not being done at all or being done in a less than effective manner. Managers and HR professionals are often blamed if they get it wrong, or take to long and you can't…See More
Oct 16, 2017
A blog post by Phil O'Brien was featured

Workplace Misconduct - Things to consider when terminating an employee

Recently an employee who was terminated for workplace misconduct as as result of drinking too much alcohol on Anzac Day and was awarded $8229.00 after the Fair Work Commission found that her dismissal was valid but none the less harsh under the circumstances.Avril Chapman was employed by the Tassal Group. Her job  involved scaling, slicing, weighing and packing fish.  She had  been employed since 1 August 2012 and was terminated for workplace misconduct on 1 May 2017.On 25 April 2017, Chapman…See More
Sep 13, 2017
Phil O'Brien posted a blog post

Workplace Misconduct - Things to consider when terminating an employee

Recently an employee who was terminated for workplace misconduct as as result of drinking too much alcohol on Anzac Day and was awarded $8229.00 after the Fair Work Commission found that her dismissal was valid but none the less harsh under the circumstances.Avril Chapman was employed by the Tassal Group. Her job  involved scaling, slicing, weighing and packing fish.  She had  been employed since 1 August 2012 and was terminated for workplace misconduct on 1 May 2017.On 25 April 2017, Chapman…See More
Sep 13, 2017

Profile Information

What would you like to share about yourself?
I am a highly experienced and skilled workplace investigator and trainer and lawyer who can take the stress out of conducting workplace investigations and provide you and your employees with up to date a relevant training in the areas of misconduct, Reasonable Management Action, performance management, bullying & harassment and other issues facing employers and workplaces.

You can contact me on 0409 078 322.
Company website/blog
http://www.awpti.com.au
Personal blog
http://www.awpti.com.au/blog
How many employees in your company?
1-49
What areas of HR are you particularly passionate about?
Employment Law
Workplace Investigations
Performance management
Workplace training
What kind of networking are you open to?
Open networking, Referrals between friends

Phil O'Brien's Blog

Workplace bullying and sexual harassment: no complaint, no witnesses

Posted on April 24, 2018 at 8:00 0 Comments

What do you do if you know or suspect that the culture is bad & that bullying & sexual harassment is happening, but you don’t have any proof or actual complaints.

This can be tough as you have a duty of care to take all reasonable steps to provide a workplace that is free from bullying & sexual harassment, so I recommend a 3 step approach.

1. Conduct training to outline what bullying & sexual harassment are, the behavioural expectations of your organisation…

Continue

Workplace investigations: Avoiding bias and conflict of interest

Posted on April 23, 2018 at 14:00 0 Comments

How can you avoid being accused of bias or a conflict of interest during an internal…
Continue

Workplace Bullying: HR or WHS issue?

Posted on April 23, 2018 at 13:00 0 Comments

Having investigated 100s of workplace bullying/harassment complaints and conducted many training sessions. I have found that the requests/engagements have always come from the HR department or another senior manager (if there is no dedicated HR) but never from a manager involved in safety or WHS. 

Would a shift in responsibility for the handling of bullying and harassment complaints and training from HR to WHS/HSE affect the process and how bullying and harassment…

Continue

Workplace Complaint Investigation - reluctant complainants

Posted on March 19, 2018 at 10:30 0 Comments

How many of you have encountered the problem when a complaint is made but the complainant tells you that they don’t want the matter investigated

I often get asked by HR professional and managers, “What do I do if someone makes a complaint and then says that they don’t want me to do anything, they just wanted me to know.”

Despite what people think this is not a difficult situation, it becomes all about ownership of the complaint.

Once someone has made a complaint…

Continue

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