Vince Scopelliti's Blog (59)

Natural Justice - Privacy and Reliance on Covert Workplace Surveillance

In a recent decision of the Fair Work Commission (FWC), a nurse has been reinstated following her termination in circumstances where covert video surveillance was the 'sole foundation' of allegations against her. The FWC also found that her employer's human resources department acted incorrectly and inappropriately in the circumstances surrounding her dismissal.




Added by Vince Scopelliti on July 26, 2017 at 7:00 — No Comments

Performance Management to Avoid Bullying Complaints

Staff who are subject to increased employer supervision or performance management may feel that they are being personally victimised, attacked or even bullied.

It may be difficult to distinguish between reasonable performance management and bullying, especially when the worker involved is sensitive by nature, has personal stress factors, fails to acknowledge their own performance shortcomings or is emotionally…


Added by Vince Scopelliti on July 19, 2017 at 12:31 — 1 Comment

Protecting Whistleblowers During Workplace Investigations

Feedback from employees is crucial to employers wanting to keep their finger on the pulse of a business. It is essential for management to be aware of risky behaviours occurring within a workplace, such as bullying, circumstances giving rise to easily preventable worker's compensation claims, failure to comply with regulations, corruption, or even criminal activities such as embezzlement, theft or fraud. In…


Added by Vince Scopelliti on July 12, 2017 at 13:30 — No Comments

Is Your Complaints Procedure Effective?

Risk management is an important aspect of running a successful business: Whether this takes the form of ensuring compliance with corporate governance programs, reducing instances of workplace fraud or financial misconduct, or eliminating bullying or other forms of harassment. 

Having a strong and coherent whistleblower program in place can help protect your organisation's interests in all of these situations. 



Added by Vince Scopelliti on July 6, 2017 at 14:50 — 1 Comment

How Can HR Support Staff During a Workplace Investigation?

Where a complaint has been made by one staff member against another, and a workplace investigation takes place, all kinds of emotions can be running high. 

People participating in a workplace investigation, whether as complainants, respondents or even witnesses, can suffer symptoms of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, as well as emotional distress. 

Respondents in particular can feel abandoned and cold-shouldered, especially in cases where…


Added by Vince Scopelliti on June 28, 2017 at 17:25 — No Comments

Her Word Against His – Detecting Lies in Interviews

One of the most challenging aspects for employers attempting to deal with workplace bullying or misconduct is getting to the truth of allegations, especially in circumstances where the apparent victim's version of events contradicts that of the alleged bully.

Most of the time, this disparity can be put down to differences of opinion or misinterpretation of…


Added by Vince Scopelliti on May 17, 2017 at 21:00 — No Comments

Child Sexual Exploitation & Trafficking Conference Insights

A wrap-up of the Children, Justice and Communication Conference at Portsmouth University, May 2017.

Last week, I had the privilege of attending the Children, Justice and Communication Conference at Portsmouth in the UK. 

The conference is hosted by some of the world’s leading academics and practitioners working in the areas of child sexual exploitation,…


Added by Vince Scopelliti on May 10, 2017 at 20:30 — No Comments

So You've Been Accused of Bullying - What Now?

The issue of workplace bullying is much more openly discussed these days, and most employees are aware that they can make a formal complaint to their employers and have the matter investigated – with appropriate resolution to follow.

But what happens if you are not the victim, but instead have been accused of being the bully?

How to deal with an overwhelming…


Added by Vince Scopelliti on May 3, 2017 at 1:00 — 1 Comment

Witness Statements Protected in Australia Post FOI Bid

A recent decision of the Australian Information Commissioner has confirmed that certain categories of internal documents cannot generally be forced to be the subject of a disclosure process.

The decision, which was handed down by Commissioner Tim Pilgrim on April 5, 2017, arose from a refusal by Australia Post to produce documents to a former employee, identified for the purpose of…


Added by Vince Scopelliti on April 26, 2017 at 13:00 — No Comments

A Perplexing Problem: Protecting Children Overseas

Every year billions of Australian dollars are provided to fund aid projects overseas. The money is targeted to assist developing countries with education, housing, health and community projects. Naturally children are a prime target group for these aid programs.  The majority of these organisations are funded by the Australian public via donations and government funding provided…


Added by Vince Scopelliti on April 20, 2017 at 11:30 — No Comments

Building Rapport in Investigative Interviews

All workplaces are at risk of allegations of bullying, harassment, discrimination or other claims of misconduct or inappropriate dealings. As such, all employers must be prepared to conduct investigative interviews to determine the veracity and accuracy of any allegations made against or by one or more of their employees.

Apart from properly eliciting the facts, perhaps the most…


Added by Vince Scopelliti on April 12, 2017 at 19:00 — No Comments

Bullying: What's the Role of Leadership?

Workplace bullying is somewhat of a scourge in modern society. Broadly categorised by Reach Out Australia as any behaviour which is physically, mentally or socially threatening and takes place in the employment context, it can have an enormous impact on staff effectiveness, employee retention, the number and type of worker's…


Added by Vince Scopelliti on April 5, 2017 at 8:30 — No Comments

Unexplained Injuries in Care – 3 Tips for Investigators

It goes without saying that injuries occur in all workplaces, not just the community sector. Yet there are certain unexplained injuries within care environments that should receive particular attention. 

We set out our top three 3 tips for investigators when confronted with an unexplained injury allegation in aged or disability care…


Added by Vince Scopelliti on March 27, 2017 at 13:00 — No Comments

The Key Warning Signs of Grooming and Sexual Manipulation

As the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has painfully revealed, our most trusted institutions have at times mishandled some of the worst cases of child abuse imaginable.

It is becoming clear to us as a nation that the trust given by children and other vulnerable people to individuals in positions of power is boundless. And…


Added by Vince Scopelliti on March 21, 2017 at 12:30 — No Comments

Criminal Conduct and the Likelihood of Conviction in Care

It is a great tragedy that the most vulnerable people in society – children, the elderly and the disabled – often fall victim to the most heinous types of abuse in care settings.   

In some cases, the abuse can be obvious, such as when…


Added by Vince Scopelliti on March 15, 2017 at 8:30 — No Comments

Does the NDIS Complaints System Have Enough Reach?

For those vulnerable people across Australia living with disability, the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has been heralded as a much-needed security net. And for those caring for disabled individuals, the NDIS provides a framework for sustainable care arrangements.  

In many ways, the introduction of the NDIS is the ultimate…

Added by Vince Scopelliti on March 8, 2017 at 12:00 — No Comments

Abuse by Carers - Defining a Sad Reality

It is quite clear that employers in aged, disability and other care environments do their best to keep staff and clients safe, yet one dark phenomenon that can raise its ugly head in care contexts is abuse by carers. For many complex reasons, vulnerable people such as the aged, children, and disability clients, can be abused by the very people who are entrusted with…


Added by Vince Scopelliti on March 1, 2017 at 9:00 — No Comments

Investigating Complaints of Abuse by Carers

When vulnerable individuals in our society are subjected to abuse by their carers, our response as a community is understandably one of outrage. It seems beyond belief that this could happen.But the sad reality is that some individuals within aged care facilities, disability care contexts, at home or in childcare centres can face abuse from the very people with whom they…


Added by Vince Scopelliti on February 22, 2017 at 16:00 — No Comments

What Does Child Protection Look Like in 2017?

There is no doubt that the sobering outcomes of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Sexual Abuse have caused Australian organisations to take stock of their child protection strategies. Investigating and preventing abuse in care has become a non-negotiable priority issue for many citizens and institutions across the nation. So what is the current state…


Added by Vince Scopelliti on February 15, 2017 at 19:29 — No Comments

Unpacking the Concept of Reasonableness

Across all Australian workplaces the phenomenon of bullying is without doubt a front-and-centre topic. And as a result, overt instances of bullying in the workplace now tend to be more readily identified than ever before.

One challenging idea for all concerned however is this; is it…


Added by Vince Scopelliti on February 8, 2017 at 13:38 — 1 Comment

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