Workplace Investigations - how to respond to allegations of misconduct?



ASMOF industrial staff regularly assist members during a workplace investigation process. Investigations may occur after a complaint is made by another member of staff, or in relation to alleged bullying, breaches of code of conduct or clinical concerns.

We are often asked for advice from members on what to do when the allegations that they have been provided are general, vague or lack specific examples.

The answer is that sufficient information must be provided to allow a considered response to be made. If the allegations are vague or lack sufficient detail to allow you to respond, you should not guess what the issue is. You (or ASMOF) should contact the investigator and indicate that the information you have been provided does not provide enough information to enable a response.

It is also important to ask for a copy of the applicable Policy or instrument that covers the type of investigation being conducted. It is important that the investigator abides by the applicable policy, award, or enterprise agreement.

A properly conducted workplace investigation should ensure that:

  • The employee has access to all of the documents to enable him/her to respond to the investigation
  • Procedural fairness is afforded to the employee
  • Confidentially is observed
  • The decision maker is impartial
  • The investigator has the appropriate skills to be conducting the investigation
  • The employee has a support person present during any interviews
  • The applicable policy is followed

ASMOF staff know that this can be a very stressful process for our members. We can provide you with the industrial advice and guidance you need during the investigation process. Please contact our office should you need any advice or assistance.