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CANCELLED - Moving Beyond “He Said / She Said”: Responsibility and Accountability When Conducting Workplace Investigations – Workshop 3

Building Confidence around Legal Risk: Employment Law Fundamentals in Practice. 3-part workshop series.


This practical workshop, being the third in the 3-part workshop series, is designed specifically to equip managers and supervisors with the skills and knowledge to conduct legally defensible workplace investigations.

The workplace is becoming an increasingly challenging environment for both staff and management alike, with grievances and allegations of inappropriate behaviour on the rise. Anecdotally there has also been a rise in employees "weaponising" bullying and sexual harassment allegations for strategic reasons. As such, there is the need for greater levels of responsiveness, accountability and transparency by organisations when conducting misconduct investigations.

Unfortunately, the stark picture to emerge is of organisations failing to implement transparent, unbiased and thorough investigations in a timely and responsive manner which in turn result in adverse consequences for an organisation’s standing and reputation.

This interactive workshop will provide an in-depth practical focus on how to implement trauma informed and procedurally fair workplace investigations and traverse the associated risks of managing misconduct.

Facilitated by a workplace investigation specialist to ensure participants have access to current and best practice workplace investigation practices, the workshop will provide practical guidance to attendees such that they are empowered and equipped to conduct lawful and effective misconduct processes.

Who Should Attend

People from across all industries who are responsible for managing employees, workplace conflict, disciplinary processes, investigations and terminations including:

  • Human Resources Managers & Advisors 
  • HR Directors and General Managers 
  • Employee Relations Managers 
  • People & Culture Managers 
  • HR Business Partners 
  • Line Managers/Supervisors/ Team Leaders 
  • In-house Counsel 


Course Content

Attendees will examine:

• complaint handling and grievance procedures;
• when a workplace investigation is appropriate and how to develop a framework for conducting workplaces investigations;
• the rights of different parties, key aspects of the investigation process and key challenges associated with workplace investigations;
• the key legal risks and issues arising when conducting workplace investigations;
• the pros and cons of conducting investigations internally or externally and the role of external legal advice;
• how to effectively manage confidentiality;
• the critical steps in conducting and concluding an investigation; and
• key issues in gathering evidence.


Key Learning Outcomes

Attendees will learn how to:

•establish a strong framework for conducting procedurally fair workplace investigations, resulting in clear and robust findings of fact;
• effectively draft allegations;
• analyse allegations and identify elements for investigations;
• Identify hidden sources of evidence;
•effectively prepare and conduct impartial interviews with complainants and respondents and other witnesses;
• assess credibility;
• apply best practice interview protocols, principles and techniques;
• conduct trauma informed investigations;
• manage issues of apprehended and unconscious bias;
• utilise a framework for analysing the collated evidence;
• analyse evidence to draw logical and safe conclusions and arrive at a legally defensible decision;
• execute a legitimate decision-making process based on the balance of probabilities; and
• logically structure a report containing essential elements.

The workshop will also provide attendees with an opportunity to examine a hypothetical scenario (based on current case law and the latest research in methods of investigating workplace misconduct) which is an interactive and collaborative session where attendees will be given an opportunity to apply what they have learnt to a ‘real life’ scenario. The case study will enable participants to connect with and identify issues and provide for deeper learning where participants will see the relevance of their learnings to their own work environments.

Attendees will be provided with checklists, template scripts and template letters to be used in conducting a workplace investigation.

Attendees will also get a workbook, presentation slides and notes to supplement their attendance.


Workshop Timings

8.30 Registration and Welcome Tea / Coffee

9.00 Session 1

10.30 Networking Break

11.00 Session 2

12.30 Lunch

13.00 Session 3

14.30 Networking Break

14.50 Session 4

16.30 Close of Workshop


Workshop Facilitator:

Kate Walawski

Barrister, Sage Strategic Consulting

Kate has practiced almost exclusively in the area of workplace relations, employment and safety law since leaving a career in education and forging a new career in law.  She has extensive experience in helping businesses traverse the ever-changing Australian employment and safety law landscape and assisting them to minimise their legal risk and exposure and achieve legal compliance. 

She has assisted clients in managing work force challenges and has played a pivotal role in supporting the long-term growth of her clients’ businesses.  In addition Kate has also advised on equal opportunity, harassment, bullying and psychological safety to clients across a range of industries. 

As a passionate educator she is frequently called on to present at seminars and conferences and delivers tailored training workshops on workplace and safety issues and employment law best practice.

Kate is an experienced mediator with national accreditation. Kate has an established history in conducting high risk workplace investigations and also in being able to facilitate the resolution of complex workplace disputes. 

Prior to recently being called to the Bar, Kate’s professional experience includes operating her own legal and consultancy business.


For event enquiries, please email

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