Advice to Employers Conducting Internal Investigations
Employers have a duty to promptly investigate allegations of misconduct fairly and thoroughly. Too many pay lip service to these duties and expose themselves to an allegation of bias or simply not properly investigating the
allegations. Whilst employers are not expected to undertake police standard investigations they are expected to meet a minimum standard. Included in that obligation is the duty to treat the staff member being investigated
fairly, obtaining and considering their version of events, together with all the other evidence that you have collected in a balanced and measured manner. We recommend you obtain legal advice about conducting your own
investigation before commencing.
Conducting Independent Workplace Investigations
Sometimes it will be more appropriate to engage an external investigator. It is recommended this is not your legal advisor as being an investigator and legal advisor in the same matter gives rise to a conflict. External investigators bring independence to the process and protect employers from allegations of bias often directed at them when they conduct their own investigations. An external investigator brings specialised skills and knowledge to the process. Choosing an investigator is an important decision.
Eugene Collins heads our employment team. He is a former police officer having served in South Auckland where he worked in the Howick CIB investigating serious crime before practising law. He has practised law for over 22 years and is passionate about employment law. Eugene is a licensed Private Investigator. He has attended the AWI (Association of Workplace Investigators) Institute in the USA where he achieved a certificate in Workplace Investigations. He is also a member of the Australasian Association of Workplace Investigators. He accepts investigation instructions nationwide.