Investigating complaints with staff working from home

Serious workplace issues such as bullying and harassment, misconduct or discrimination should always take urgent priority for a manager. In the current climate during the pandemic, these serious workplace issues can still occur.

With a growing number of employees working from home, employers and HR managers have the additional challenge of taking both their onsite and remote workforce into consideration.

Read Your HR manager is under the pump >

Remember that workplace investigations must adhere to natural justice principles, confidentiality, rules of evidence, compliance, and health and safety regulations. These standards help to ensure a fair and equitable process for all and allow an organisation to respond with the appropriate action.

There are some predictable challenges of remote workplace investigations that are reasonably straightforward to address, such as planning ahead to ensure your own privacy and mitigate technical issues with videoconferencing, electronic signatures, transferring files, etc.

Other challenges of remote workplace investigations can be more complicated. For example:

🔎 How will you ensure that the interviewee is in a private setting without unauthorised people or recording devices?

🔎 How will you ensure the confidentiality of sensitive documentation?

🔎 How will you obtain and maintain detailed records?

🔎 How will you gather and safeguard physical evidence?

🔎 How will you assess and monitor the remote workplace culture?

Read Conflict in the age of Zoom >

In general, managing staff remotely requires clearer and more explicit communication of expectations and feedback, and more regular check-ins to ensure staff are coping at home.

When it comes to addressing serious issues or complaints, managers who are already stretched to their limits may need to seek support from an experienced and independent workplace investigator.

WorkPlacePLUS conducts workplace investigations of the highest standard via video conferencing technology. We can support you to meet your employer obligations under various legislation such as Fair Work Act and Work, Health & Safety, while you continue to focus on your business. Our experienced HR consultants are trained private investigators.

For more information, please contact us today.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: The content of this website is subject to updates or changes. Any information or advice published on this website is general in nature; it may not apply to your specific objectives or circumstances and it does not constitute legal advice or tailored employment relations advice. WorkPlacePLUS will not be liable in any way for any loss or damages arising from the use of this website. Users should seek individualised, tailored advice to address any specific objectives or circumstances. This website uses cookies to allow us to assess and improve site functionality. By using this website, you consent to WorkPlacePLUS’s use of cookies.

WorkPlacePLUS acknowledges the Traditional Owners and custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to the land, sea and community. We pay our respect First Nations people and cultures; and to Elders past, present and future.

© 2021 WorkPlacePLUS Pty Ltd ABN 48 166 238 786

Training Programs 

HR & IR Support for Employers 

Independent Workplace Investigations