Handling Workplace Investigations and Conducting Disciplinary Inquiry

Handling Workplace Investigations and Conducting Disciplinary Inquiry
Fee (Excludes 7% GST) $480
Duration 1 Day
SDF Approved Yes
Skills Future Credit Yes
Upcoming Workshops 8 Nov 2019
26 Dec 2019

Misconduct in the workplace is not something that any employer wants to have to deal with. When allegations of possible misconduct in the workplace or outside the workplace surface, such occurrences require strict and consistent attention, to ensure the right precedent is set. The disciplinary inquiry is a necessary evil that every manager and organisation, on the whole, need to be well aware of and familiar with. For statutory employees, it has to comply with the Employment Act. What about that for common law employees?

The need to conduct an investigation is also part and parcel of the process in the due inquiry. It is no doubt that whether the security staff or human resource staff conducts the investigation, the findings of the investigation must be presented to the disciplinary inquiry committee. What are the rules and applicable laws governing internal investigation at the workplace or for that matter, should it refer to the proper authority such as the Police? Whichever the case may be, human resource practitioners need to distinguish whether misconduct is one that breaches the company rules and regulations or the misconduct itself can be classified as a criminal offence.

HR practitioners need to have a thorough understanding of workplace investigation and what a disciplinary hearing entails and know how to prepare for such proceedings. Without the correct application and clear knowledge on the right way to deal with possible misconduct, employers will undoubtedly, held accountable for any improper administration of workplace investigation and disciplinary proceedings.

  1. Know the definition of employee, i.e. statutory versus common law employee.
  2. Identify the differences between misconduct and poor performance.
  3. Understand what constitutes misconduct in the workplace.
  4. Understand the reason for progressive discipline in the workplace.
  5. Understand the purpose and implementation of a disciplinary code.
  6. Learn how to deal with employees committing misconduct or offence outside the workplace.
  7. Know the approach in conducting workplace investigations at the workplace.
  8. Prepare, investigate and frame the appropriate charges for a disciplinary hearing.
  9. Help identify and deal with disciplinary matters at the onset.
  10. Learn the art of conducting a disciplinary inquiry.
  11. Approach in collecting and preparing evidence for a hearing.
  12. Understand the responsibilities of the inquiry officer before, during and after a hearing.
  13. Know the role of Union in the disciplinary inquiry.
  14. Compare and contrast police investigation and disciplinary inquiry.
  15. Differences between an employee being suspended, release on police’s bail and court’s bail

A competent HR practitioner must have the skills and knowledge in the following:

1. Definition of employee

  • The definition of statutory employee falls under the Employment Act
  • The definition of the different types of statutory employees.

2. Introduction to termination of employment

  • Performance
  • Agreement (Express and Implied)
  • Repudiatory breach (by the employer and by the employee)
  • Frustration

3. An Introduction to Discipline of Employee

  • What is expected of the employee?
  • What is expected of the employer?
  • Definition of misconduct
  • Progressive discipline
  • Difference between misconduct and poor performance

4. Investigating the workplace

  • Steps to be taken in an investigation
  • Applicable laws and company policies and procedures with regards to the investigation at the workplace.
  • Tools of the investigation
  • Conducting the investigation
  • Interviewing and questioning the complainants, defendants and witnesses

5. Employees committing a criminal offence in and outside the workplace

  • The distinction between a criminal offence and employment misconduct
  • Criminal or semi-criminal offences and misconduct issues in and outside the work place
  • Solutions to an employer’s dilemma in handling the criminal offence – should an employee be dismissed or suspended, or should the employer wait for courtroom outcomes before taking action
  • The correct approach in framing ‘criminal’ misconduct charges and industrial adjudications

6. Suspension, Investigation and Disciplinary Inquiry

  • Rules of natural justice
  • Explain the importance of holding ‘due inquiry.’
  • Explain why holding ‘due inquiry’ is required under Section 14(2) of the Employment Act and Section 35(3) of the Industrial Relations Act.
  • What makes an effective Inquiry Officer?
  • Make up of disciplinary inquiry committee
  • Disciplinary inquiry flow-chart
  • Pre-hearing
  • During the Hearing
  • Post-hearing Procedure
  • Union involvement

This workshop is activity-based, and participants ‘learn by doing’ through role plays and discussions. Participants will get to assess their current disciplinary skills in the context of their designation and apply the new skills learnt to plan a course of action for them to be more effective in their preparations for disciplinary hearings.

Human Resource practitioners and Security personnel who are in-charge of workplace investigations.

Please visit this page to register.