The team at Synergy can review investigations conducted internally to ensure that the rules of procedural fairness have been followed and the findings are sound and valid.
Our expert team of workplace investigators and IR Law specialists can assess the methodology and subsequent delivery of the investigation, looking at factors such as the framing of the investigation, the use of investigation powers, the investigation plan and handling of interviews and evidence.
If there are flaws somewhere in the methodology, we can advise you on ways to rectify them.
Natural Justice Principles
A common mistake made by organisations conducting their own investigations, is failure to understand, or pay proper attention to, procedural fairness (natural justice). These principals apply to criminal matters and similarly, they should always apply to workplace matters that could result in disciplinary action.
In order to withstand scrutiny and challenge, internal investigations must adhere to procedural fairness (or natural justice) principles.
The concept of natural justice is based on the following principles:
- The respondent to the complaint is given a chance to give their side of the story before formal findings are made and before any remedial action is taken.
- The investigation should be conducted in an impartial manner.
- Any findings and subsequent recommendations are based on an examination of evidence (not speculation or rumour).
- Other factors such as confidentiality, rules of evidence and standards of proof, legal and policy compliance and health and safety regulations are also vital elements in a properly conducted investigation.