For those involved in workplace investigations, one court case seems to be of central importance - Briginshaw v Briginshaw. Interestingly, this 1938 case is actually about alleged adultery in the context of divorce! So the question immediately arises - why do the concepts in Briginshaw seem to hold sway in…Continue
Added by Vince Scopelliti on February 13, 2019 at 10:10 — No Comments
In the usual course of workplace investigations, it is often one person's word against another's. This is particularly the case when a serious allegation such as sexual misconduct has been made, and there are unlikely to be any witnesses to the event.
When a serious allegation has been made, often the 'accused' then makes their own claims against the accuser, resulting in cross and counter-allegations.…Continue
Added by Vince Scopelliti on February 6, 2019 at 9:40 — No Comments
In recent years, there have been a number of cases heard in the Fair Work Commission and the courts which have resulted in important practical outcomes and learnings for employers, particularly in the area of workplace bullying.
Let's take a look at some of these seminal cases.…Continue
Added by Vince Scopelliti on January 30, 2019 at 15:17 — No Comments
Workplace investigations may cause disruption and even animosity in the workplace. An incident occurred and a workplace investigator must attempt to get to the heart of the problem. Once the investigation is over, there will inevitably be fallout in the workplace, which any employer would be well advised to address actively.
We examine the pitfalls facing managers after a workplace investigation, and the best methods for…Continue
Added by Vince Scopelliti on January 23, 2019 at 10:15 — No Comments
With the new changes to whistleblower legislation soon to be debated and enacted, it's essential to assess whether or not your business is compliant. An important part of ensuring compliance with the changes lies in the development of robust policies to protect whistleblowers. The Human Resources function has a central role in preparing staff for the new approach to whistleblowing in the workplace.
We examine best-practice…Continue
Added by Vince Scopelliti on January 16, 2019 at 11:30 — No Comments
A toxic workplace culture can place significant barriers in the way of achieving business objectives. If toxicity has invaded your office, it is likely that you are dealing with staff who are unproductive, resentful, unmotivated and perhaps difficult to discipline - and it can affect senior managers to junior employees.
This can have significant effects on all areas of the business, and can even impact your bottom line. We…Continue
Added by Vince Scopelliti on January 9, 2019 at 10:28 — No Comments
When determining what led to a certain set of events or making an important decision, it is essential for investigators and decision makers to have regard to an objective standard.
In trying to get to the bottom of a situation or establishing an appropriate course of action, relying on the 'reasonable person' ensures that a broader perspective is taken.
We look at exactly what this involves and how…Continue
Added by Vince Scopelliti on December 19, 2018 at 9:03 — No Comments
The Christmas period tends to bring out the best- and worst - in people. It is a time of year filled with parties, merriment, laughter, great weather and a lot of socialising.
But Christmas can also be a challenging time in the workplace, as employees may engage in inappropriate conduct at work related social events, may suffer the after-effects of excessive partying or may be generally less…Continue
Added by Vince Scopelliti on December 13, 2018 at 8:21 — No Comments
With new whistleblower protections to take effect in early 2019, it is essential that organisations understand the broad legislative changes to the Corporations Act 2001 due to be debated in Parliament. In addition to the requirement for formal mechanisms and strategies to protect and assist whistleblowers, both public and large private corporations will need to be…Continue
Added by Vince Scopelliti on December 5, 2018 at 13:00 — No Comments
Engaging in a difficult workplace conversation is one of those tasks that most managers and business owners would prefer to avoid. Yet the reality is that from time to time, workplace behaviour or performance will be below par and will need to be addressed.
The key to conducting a challenging…Continue
Added by Vince Scopelliti on November 28, 2018 at 11:37 — No Comments
Bullying is the scourge of many workplaces. There are few things which destroy office morale, tear apart team cohesion or cause good staff to leave as quickly as victimisation and harassment in the workplace. Interestingly, research has identified 22 different types of bullying conduct which might be encountered in the average workplace.
We outline these different types of bullying and provide tips…Continue
It's the end of a long year. Employers and staff alike have worked hard and are looking forward to the opportunity to catch up, celebrate, network and relax.
The work Christmas party is often anticipated as an ideal way to farewell the working year, reward staff, and anticipate the year ahead. However, employers must understand that a successful - and incident-free - Christmas party is dependent upon good planning and…Continue
Added by Vince Scopelliti on November 14, 2018 at 14:43 — No Comments
When conducting investigations or otherwise making determinations in the workplace, it is essential to avoid bias, whether conscious or unconscious. It is equally important to avoid a situation where co-workers believe decisions made in the workplace are biased - whether real or perceived.
Unconscious bias may take a number of different forms,…Continue
Added by Vince Scopelliti on November 7, 2018 at 13:00 — No Comments
Effective procurement requires the ability to foster productive relationships and to secure the best possible terms within a contract or project. However, there can be a fine line between savvy negotiation and a gradual descent into corrupt and/or fraudulent behaviour.
Despite robust legal and policy requirements relating to procurement activity, fraud is nevertheless an ever-present problem within the supply chain…Continue
Added by Vince Scopelliti on October 31, 2018 at 12:46 — No Comments
Developing a positive working environment where all employees are supported is key to looking after the mental wellbeing of your staff, and freeing them up to be their most productive selves.
A safe and healthy workplace is one which is inclusive and caters for the needs of all workers. According to the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), a two-fold approach where the development of long-term…Continue
Added by Vince Scopelliti on October 24, 2018 at 11:55 — No Comments
What can employers do to support and effectively manage employees who may be struggling with their mental health?
With an estimated one in five Australian adults suffering from a mental illness in any given year, this is becoming an…Continue
Added by Vince Scopelliti on October 17, 2018 at 15:30 — No Comments
For many employees, one of the most difficult aspects of navigating the modern workplace is deciding whether to disclose a mental health issue.
Not every employee is required to be open about their condition, and there is often a fear of the potential consequences for their career if they are.
We take a look at when an employee is obligated to disclose, what employers must do,…Continue
Added by Vince Scopelliti on October 10, 2018 at 9:30 — No Comments
Being aware of job stress, and proactive about its potential effect on staff and their ongoing mental health, is an important component of ensuring employee satisfaction and OHS in any business.
But it is crucial not to confuse job stress with a psychological injury, which may or may not have been caused by the work environment.
Added by Vince Scopelliti on October 3, 2018 at 12:32 — No Comments
Making sure that your staff are fit and healthy, enabling them to perform their duties at an optimal level, forms an essential part of being an employer of choice. But beyond ensuring that your staff are physically capable, it is essential to also look after their mental wellbeing.
Underestimating the importance of mental health in the workplace is likely to have lasting impacts on your workers,…Continue
Added by Vince Scopelliti on September 26, 2018 at 17:00 — No Comments
As any HR manager will testify, conducting workplace investigations is one of the most important but vexed aspects of ensuring that an organisation runs smoothly.
This is particularly the case when the various parties involved in an investigation are putting forward different versions of events - who do you know who to believe? For many years, workplace investigators have employed the Briginshaw…Continue
Added by Vince Scopelliti on September 19, 2018 at 14:18 — No Comments