Proctor : April 2019
40 PROCTOR | April 2019 As this publication correctly identifies, the commissioning of workplace investigations is increasingly prevalent and complex. Editors Paula Hoctor and Michael Robertson (both of national workplace investigations firm Q Workplace Solutions) have banded together to publish what could aptly be described as a workplace investigations manual. Utilising the legal and investigative experiences and skills of 21 contributors, Workplace Investigations Principles and Practice is a well-written, comprehensive and practical resource. In the first chapter, the editors articulate their hope that the book “...stands as a step along pathway towards building a professional framework for the workplace investigations market”.The book manages to achieve precisely that. From the receipt of a workplace complaint/concern, up until the submission of an investigation report, each step of the process is carefully deconstructed and mapped out for the reader. The requisite legal and ethical considerations applicable to each step are examined, and the ‘how to’ elements of the chapters are complemented by tools that the reader can by Sarah Ford At last, a workplace investigations manual Title: Workplace Investigations Principles and Practice Author: Paula Hoctor and Dr Michael Robertson (editors) Publisher: LexisNexis Butterworths ISBN: 9780409347654 Format: Paperback/356pp RRP: $139 Book review utilise in practice. To that end, the book’s checklists, example investigation plans, and example ‘draft’ letters are well-crafted and valuable resources. Of particular interest to employers may be chapters 14 to 18. Those chapters address complaints of a specific nature, and allegations involving criminal and corrupt conduct. Topics such as sexual harassment, bullying, and disability discrimination are considered, and the contributors (all of legal backgrounds) provide useful commentary for employers about an employer’s liability and duty of care in those contexts. Valuable tips on how to manage such investigations, as well as when to involve the police, are also proffered. Interwoven throughout the book are also welcome reminders about fundamental concepts (such as investigator ethics, procedural fairness, and legal professional privilege) which are crucial to the success of the workplace investigations framework. This book should be applauded for providing a much-needed best-practice guide for workplace investigations. Whilst the focus is undoubtedly on the obligations and duties of employers and investigators, the book’s detailed analysis and discussion about the workplace investigations model generally should prove useful to anybody engaged in the process. Sarah Ford is an associate at Gilshenan & Luton Legal Practice, and a member of the Queensland Law Society Occupational Discipline Law Committee.