Bullying and Harassment grievances are often some of the most challenging an investigator will have to investigate. Our 2 day programme will equip investigators to thoroughly and robustly test allegations of Bullying and Harassment. Our training will cover the following topics.
Detailed exploration of the subject of Bullying and Harassment
- In this section of the course we help those who have to investigate these types of complaint really understand what constitutes Bullying or Harassment – what it is and what it is not.
The legal position and exploration of Workplace Bullying and Harassment
- We look at the legal backdrop to situations which may become the subject of investigations. What does the law say about discrimination, how grievances should be handled, what does the law saw about Bullying and Harassment? We give an overview to the legislation that your investigators will need to know.
The organisations policy on how complaints should be investigated
- As well as the legal position investigators must follow the organisation’s policies relating to complaint handling. We will obviously need to liaise with you in advance of the event to obtain policies and discuss any further requirements you would like us to add into this section. We also cover what Tribunals will look for in terms of demonstrating a ‘reasonable’ investigation.
‘Reasonable belief’ and balance of probability
- What happens in a situation where it is one word against another? What happens if there is no concrete evidence to show an event or pattern of behaviour occurred? We explain the generally held principles that should be applied in reaching conclusions.
Receiving an allegation
- We take participants through the process to be followed from the receipt of an allegation. What the internal policy says and what they as investigators should do from this point on. We process map the various stages of the investigation and continually focus on the duties and skills of the investigator at each step of the way. This is a practical and ‘hands on’ course designed to help investigators actually conduct a fair and robust investigation rather than simply talking about investigation from a theoretical perspective.
Allocating roles and identifying document sources
- We explain the principles around allocating roles. What functions need to be performed in an investigation and what are the conditions around who can do what? What other documents will need to be referenced in the investigation and what are the principles of what can be accessed and what cannot?
Complainant interview – defining allegations
- Even if a complaint form has been received it is often the case that the allegations are not clearly defined. We look at the complainant interview and examine what the main principles and outputs of this key stage of the investigation should be.
Structure of interview and interview techniques
- Conducting investigation interviews is very different from conducting other types of interview. We go through how an investigation interview should be structured and the various techniques which should be applied.
Responding to emotion
- There is no doubt that investigations particularly into Bullying and Harassment can give rise to a range of emotions. How should an investigator handle these situations? We give hints and tips about best practice.
Witness and respondent interviews and contact
- Once the complainant interview has been conducted there will be a need to conduct further interviews with witnesses and of course the respondent who is typically the last person to be seen. What communication should there be with these individuals during the course of the investigation? How much should witnesses be told? What about the need for confidentiality? What if someone wants to give information anonymously? What about the duty of care towards the respondent? We cover all these aspects and delve into the way in which these interviews should be planned for and conducted.
- The investigation documents may be required after the investigation has been concluded. Where should records be kept and who can access them? We also cover the need for referencing of documents which can then be drawn into the report in appendices or to track back to where a factual piece of information has been found.
Analysing information and drawing conclusions
- Once all the information is available in the form of documents or interview statements these need to be analysed and conclusions or findings need to be reached. How should this process be conducted? It is critical at this stage that no subjectivity or opinion comes into a conclusion. How can investigators ensure their conclusions are robust?
Writing an investigation report and presenting evidence
- The investigation report is the final output of the investigation. So many reports fail to deliver as they are compiled in a fashion which does not make it clear how conclusions have been reached. An investigation report should be a stand-alone document – able to withstand scrutiny by someone external to the organisation such as a tribunal panel. We give hints and tips to ensure that your investigators have a clear view of what should be in a report and provide ‘best practice’ advice and templates.
For further information, call us on 0333 939 0177 or send an email using the Contact Form on the Contact Us page.