The Workplace Investigations Virtual Masterclass

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23rd Nov 2021


Live Webinar

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Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra (GMT+11): 9am to 5pm
Adelaide (GMT+10:30): 8.30am to 4.30pm
Brisbane (GMT+10):8am to 4pm
Perth, Singapore, Malaysia (GMT+8): 6am to 2pm
New Zealand (GMT+13): 11am to 7pm



This masterclass will explain that not every workplace incident requires an investigation. Often the incident is discrete, minor and needs consultation, a solution that is respectful and healing. There are different types of investigations based on the nature of the incident. How you investigate an allegation of fraud differs markedly from an investigation of sexual harassment.  Choosing the right path and process is critical to building a respectful culture and defensible decision making.

Andrew will cut through the legal language to provide a simple guide on how to investigate workplace incidents, when to engage lawyers and experts, the preparation and process of investigating and making findings and the policies that are critical to support a lawful, useful and defensible investigation.

Investigations are part of an employer’s safety and Human Resources systems. Investigations provide a mechanism to determine the level of risk regarding a workplace hazard (for example Bullying or Sexual Harassment) and prove clarity as to the appropriate control.

Learning Objectives

During this training you will learn:

  • When to investigate and who should be the investigator-when to use of lawyers and legal professional privilege?
  • What is the correct process based on the subject matter of the incident?
  • Who should be the decision maker who receives the investigation findings and how should they be quarantined?
  • What are the relevant policies and processes and what must the polices permit and not include- for example the policies must permit an investigation without a complainant?
  • When can you suspend an employee, does it have to be on pay and what is the contractual and common law right to suspend?
  • What is an allegation at law?
  • What is the correct process with witnesses, the complainant and the respondent?
  • Findings, reports and recommendations-know what the burden and standard of proof is, when to go beyond mere findings to determinations of legal matters (e.g. Discrimination, harassment etc.) and the making of recommendations.

Featuring Our Speakers

Andrew Douglas

Managing Principal

FCW Lawyers

Andrew Douglas is the Managing Principal of FCW Lawyers – a workplace and commercial law firm based in Australia.

Andrew is a leading senior legal practitioner with more than 30 years’ experience working with publicly listed businesses, companies, and substantial SMEs across a range of industries including manufacturing, agriculture, construction, government, NFP, education, health, and financial services.

Andrew practises a range of workplace law, including employment, health and safety, workers’ compensation, dispute resolution, privacy, and investigations.

Andrew is an accomplished speaker and chair of masterclasses in workplace law throughout Australia, New Zealand, and Asia. He has also authored several books on health and safety law and is a widely published legal practitioner on workplace wellbeing.

Every Friday, Andrew co-hosts the Friday Workplace Briefing with Karen Luu (Found Consulting), informing a growing audience of senior HR professionals and business leaders on the latest legal news and developments impacting their organisations.

Andrew is renowned for his leadership effectiveness, and commitment to his staff, their development and future. Prior to establishing FCW Lawyers in 2018, Andrew led large teams for several national law firms in the roles of National Head of Workplace Relations and Head of Dispute Resolution.  He left ‘big law’ to build a firm that sees the world through ‘client eyes’, and cultivates a work environment of excellence, equality, flexibility and compassion.

Who should attend?

  • HR and IR Practitioners and consultants
  • Workplace Investigators
  • Safety and return to work (workers’ compensation) practitioners and consultants
  • Operational leaders and decision makers
  • And Inhouse counsel

Topics Covered

  • The Incident-First steps
  • Complexity-understanding the risks and law around unusual circumstances
  • The Investigation-the process
  • The Report-how to do it
  • Managing the Outcome-what happens after the investigation is complete