Vince Scopelliti's Blog (139)

The Right Mix: Professionalism, Impartiality and Empathy

When conducting a workplace investigation, it is essential that there is consideration given to maintaining an appropriate balance between professionalism, impartiality and empathy. 

By ensuring that this balance is maintained, employers are best able to protect the interests of staff, and safeguard against allegations…

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Added by Vince Scopelliti on April 17, 2019 at 13:00 — No Comments

Legal Professional Privilege and Workplace Investigations

When a workplace investigation is required, there may occasionally be good reason to seek legal professional privilege regarding the findings. This is particularly the case in matters that may require criminal investigation, such as fraud, theft or sexual harassment. 

So, is it sufficient to engage a law firm when undertaking workplace investigation if you wish to attract legal professional privilege? We take a look…

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Added by Vince Scopelliti on April 10, 2019 at 11:29 — No Comments

When to Use an External Investigator

Using in-house resources to sort out organisational problems certainly makes a lot of sense. HR departments tend to be well equipped to receive and manage internal complaints, facilitating solutions as they go. 

But while sourcing external assistance can seem unnecessary, there are certain serious workplace situations where calling in specialist investigative expertise will be the preferable solution.  …

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Added by Vince Scopelliti on April 3, 2019 at 6:00 — No Comments

How to Take Action when Employees and Alcohol Mix

Alcohol and workplaces never mix well. No matter the sort of work they do, employees should not be in the workplace when they are under the influence or still suffering the effects of alcohol consumption. This includes drinking at work or immediately before starting work, and those who are still impacted by a big night out. 

So what steps should an employer take when dealing with a worker who they suspect is…

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Added by Vince Scopelliti on March 27, 2019 at 12:18 — No Comments

The Legality of Recording Conversations

How many times have you wished you had a record of a conversation? Perhaps you would have liked evidence of what was said, or you would have appreciated being able to play a conversation back for training purposes. 

Whatever the reason, we examine the legality of recording conversations in Australia. 

WHEN CAN YOU RECORD A CONVERSATION?

The legality of…

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Added by Vince Scopelliti on March 21, 2019 at 11:39 — No Comments

Gender Equality: How to Create a Win-Win in the Workplace

It can seem unbelievable that gender inequality persists in Australian workplaces in 2019. As well as the obvious human rights issues, some employers and managers fail to comprehend that a lack of gender equality can have measurable negative consequences for the organisation as a whole. 

Let's examine some of the alarming statistics around the situation for women in the workplace, the benefits of championing gender…

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Added by Vince Scopelliti on March 13, 2019 at 14:00 — No Comments

Signed Statements vs Affidavits in Workplace Investigations

When conducting a workplace investigation, it is important that supporting evidence is collected in order to ensure that any decisions can be backed up, particularly in the event of legal proceedings.

We examine the merits of recording evidence in a signed statement versus an affidavit.

WHAT IS A SIGNED STATEMENT?  …

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Added by Vince Scopelliti on March 6, 2019 at 16:24 — No Comments

Bringing an Employee Back from Suspension

It can seem as though the difficult part of a workplace investigation is dealt with by undergoing the investigative process, and making a decision as to how to deal with the employee. But the aftermath of an investigation, for example bringing an employee back into the workplace fold after a suspension, can be equally difficult. 

We examine what an employer should know, and do, in such a situation.…

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Added by Vince Scopelliti on February 27, 2019 at 10:09 — No Comments

When to Suspend an Employee During an Investigation

One of the most difficult aspects of a workplace investigation is the moment when the investigator or employer realises the immediate suspension of an employee is required. 

We examine the warning signs that a suspension might be necessary, as well as the best way to handle this complex eventuality.

THE WHAT AND WHY OF SUSPENSION

Most investigations…

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Added by Vince Scopelliti on February 20, 2019 at 8:30 — No Comments

Briginshaw Applied: Weighing Up The Evidence

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…

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Added by Vince Scopelliti on February 13, 2019 at 10:10 — No Comments

Why Counter Allegations Must Be Investigated

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.…

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Added by Vince Scopelliti on February 6, 2019 at 9:40 — No Comments

Learning HR Lessons from Real World Cases

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.…

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Added by Vince Scopelliti on January 30, 2019 at 15:17 — No Comments

Addressing Post-Investigation Workplace Culture

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…

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Added by Vince Scopelliti on January 23, 2019 at 10:15 — No Comments

Whistleblower Changes - Getting Your Policies Right

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…

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Added by Vince Scopelliti on January 16, 2019 at 11:30 — No Comments

How to Transform a Toxic Workplace for a Productive 2019

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…

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Added by Vince Scopelliti on January 9, 2019 at 10:28 — No Comments

Putting the 'Reasonable Person' to the Test

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…

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Added by Vince Scopelliti on December 19, 2018 at 9:03 — No Comments

Dealing with Absconding Staff over Christmas

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…

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Added by Vince Scopelliti on December 13, 2018 at 8:21 — No Comments

Protecting Whistleblowers: Are You Ready for the Changes?

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…

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Added by Vince Scopelliti on December 5, 2018 at 13:00 — No Comments

How to Prepare for a Difficult Conversation

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…

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Added by Vince Scopelliti on November 28, 2018 at 11:37 — No Comments

22 Types of Workplace Bullying Behaviour

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…

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Added by Vince Scopelliti on November 21, 2018 at 16:00 — 1 Comment

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