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Conducting Workplace Investigations

Conducting workplace investigations is a crucial aspect of maintaining a healthy and productive work environment. These investigations are a systematic and comprehensive process undertaken by organisations to address and resolve issues such as workplace misconduct, discrimination, harassment, and policy violations. The primary goal is to uncover the facts surrounding a particular incident, ensuring a fair and impartial assessment. The HR investigation process typically involves gathering relevant information, interviewing involved parties, and examining any pertinent documents or evidence.

HBA Consulting is aware of the complexities surrounding workplace employment, and policy considerations. Beyond meeting the expected standards, we also have an enviable track record of delivering high-quality outcomes acknowledged by key stakeholders – may of whom we count as repeated clients.

Key factors contributing to this acknowledgment include:

  • Comprehensive Understanding: We possess a professional understanding of relevant employment, workplace and policy frameworks and legislation.
  • Proven Expertise: Our team demonstrates a proven track record in designing and undertaking workplace reviews and investigations.
  • Professional Approach: We prioritise an investigative approach that meticulously maintains independence, addressing both real and perceived conflicts of interest.
  • Fairness and Equity: Our focus remains steadfast on ensuring procedural fairness and equity throughout the investigative processes.
  • Integrity: Upholding the highest standards of integrity and honesty is integral to our approach.
  • Thorough Reporting: We deliver comprehensive, logical, and meticulous reports, adhering to the highest quality standards, with independent review prior to finalisation.

Our seasoned team brings extensive knowledge and hands-on experience, built up over decades of work in both the public and private sectors.

HBA Consulting has meticulously crafted a robust investigation and review process designed to withstand external scrutiny.

To ensure the efficacy of our quality assurance processes, every assignment undergoes a rigorous internal quality assurance and peer review overseen by Mr. Ken Titheradge, Workplace Investigations QA Adviser. Notably, our commitment to quality is reflected in the fact that to date none of our review or investigation reports has been rejected by clients, external reviews, or courts.

You can trust HBA Consulting to deliver exceptional investigative services with a commitment to excellence and adherence to the highest professional standards.

workplace investigations

Conducting Workplace Reviews

Conducting workplace reviews is a critical aspect of maintaining a healthy and compliant work environment. In the realm of HR investigations, navigating the intricacies of workplace reviews is paramount to ensuring employees have confidence in their workplace. These reviews involve a meticulous examination of workplace practices, policies, and employee interactions to gauge adherence to legal, ethical, and procedural standards. The outcomes of workplace investigations are integral to shaping effective HR strategies and fostering a positive workplace culture. HR investigations delve into matters such as employee misconduct, conflicts of interest, and procedural irregularities, with the ultimate goal of fostering a fair and equitable workplace. Through a systematic approach, workplace reviews contribute to the identification of areas for improvement, risk mitigation, and the enhancement of overall organisational well-being. By aligning with best practices, companies can leverage the insights gained from HR investigations to proactively address challenges, promote employee satisfaction, and cultivate a workplace environment conducive to success.

HBA Consulting's experts possess a keen awareness of the nuanced sensitivities inherent in workplace review procedures. They excel in crafting and executing processes that recognise and address these sensitivities while adhering to the specific policies and procedures applicable to each organisation.

When embarking on a workplace review, our carefully planned approach focusses on crucial elements including:

  • Thoroughly researching and understanding all relevant employer guidance materials before initiating the design and implementation of the review process.
  • Engaging in meaningful discussions with both the employer and employee to establish and confirm the context of the issue at hand.
  • Maintaining open lines of communication with the employer and employee throughout the process to effectively manage expectations.
  • Crafting an evidence-based report that serves as a transparent and solid foundation for the findings, conclusions, and necessary recommendations.
  • By aligning with these key elements, HBA Consulting ensures a comprehensive and considerate approach to workplace reviews, facilitating an effective and compliant process that meets the unique needs of each organisation.

Independent Review Panels

HBA Consulting actively participates in workplace investigation and review panels within the public and private sectors. These panels play a crucial role in providing independent ‘arm’s length’ review using one or more external panel members as mandated by Agency employment frameworks. These structures are specifically designed to independently assess a range of employment-related decisions when requested by an employee.

Typically, these panels consist of an external representative, an employee representative, and an employer representative. The external member can also serve a dual role as the Chair/Convenor and report writer. HBA Consulting brings to these panels a team of highly experienced consultants with decades of senior-level HR and industrial relations expertise. Our consultants are adept at efficiently and effectively structuring and guiding the process in accordance with the relevant organisational policies and procedures.

Public Interest Disclosures

Public Interest Disclosures (PID), commonly known as whistleblowing, refer to the act of reporting information about wrongdoing, misconduct, or maladministration within an organisation or government body. These disclosures are made in the interest of public welfare, transparency, and accountability, often with legal protections in place to shield whistleblowers from retaliation. The information disclosed may involve matters such as corruption, fraud, health and safety violations, or other activities that pose a risk to the public or the organisation.

Over the last five years, HBA Consulting has executed numerous PID investigations, operating within the frameworks of both the ACT and Commonwealth PID legislation. Our seasoned consultants ensure compliance with the legislation, meticulously adhering to prescribed timeframes for PID matters. We deliver evidence-based reports, facilitating consideration and action by the appropriate delegate, while also offering guidance on the development and review of organisational policies and procedures governing the management of PID investigations. Through our extensive experience, we've observed that certain employers, particularly Federal Government agencies, may not have revisited their policies and procedures since their initial drafting with the inception of the Commonwealth legislation. This underscores the importance of periodic reviews to align with evolving standards and ensure optimal workplace investigation outcomes.

Workplace Complaint Management

Addressing workplace complaints may not be a routine task for every manager or supervisor. Consequently, when an employee lodges a complaint, it often marks the first instance where a manager or supervisor must activate their employer's complaint management process. During these pivotal moments, it is imperative that:

  • Managers and supervisors undergo training in effective complaint management.
  • The HR department is well-versed in the complaints management process, encompassing industrial, WH&S, and HR policy requirements, enabling them to advise and assist managers throughout the process.
  • The organisation routinely reviews and updates its policies and procedures for managing workplace complaints.
  • Current guidance for both managers and employees regarding workplace complaints management is easily accessible, typically through an Intranet portal or HR Manual.

Based on our expertise, the effective management of workplace complaints faces challenges when:

  • Immediate action is not taken by the organisation upon receipt.
  • Careful and impartial analysis is lacking before a decision is reached.
  • The results of assessments and investigations are not communicated appropriately to all involved parties, including the complainant and those implicated in the issue.

Our seasoned consultants are poised to support organisations in the efficient and effective handling of workplace complaints by:

  • Developing or reviewing workplace complaint policies and procedures to align with contemporary best practices and industrial and WH&S obligations.
  • Providing comprehensive training to HR teams, line supervisors, and managers on addressing employee complaints in a timely and effective manner.
  • Conducting independent workplace investigations into complaints, particularly when matters are complex or concerns about perceived or actual conflicts of interest within the organisation arise.

This holistic approach ensures organisations are well-equipped to navigate and resolve workplace complaints, promoting a culture of transparency, fairness, and adherence to best practices.


29 Somerville,
PH : 02 6247 4490