Bullying

Case Study - Investigation reveals no bullying | WISE Workplace

Background

What appeared to be a straightforward case of bullying and harassment turned out to be anything but...

This matter involved a senior public servant in charge of a regional office who made a 140 page complaint about 10 colleagues in offices throughout Australia. 

The employer contacted WISE to investigate.

Objectives

WISE's main objective was to independently gather inculpatory and exculpatory evidence to objectively ascertain the facts of the matter.

As emotions were high from the complainant and respondents she also found it crucial that the matter was handled as sensitively as possible.

Approach

More than 20 interviews across Australia.

WISE ascertained the respondent was not a victim of bullying from the complainants, but was being 'fed' information from another member of staff.

As the matter involved senior members of staff, we needed to sensitively interview all the respondents to allow them to have their say.

Feedback received at the conclusion of the investigation was that a number of the respondents approached the interview with trepidation, but afterwards felt they had a fair and sound hearing.

All interviews with the complainant, witnesses and respondents were digitally recorded and transcriptions made. Respondents were given the opportunity to give further information.

Strategic Outcomes

The investigation took six months due to extensive legal involvement,

A full report was supplied to the employer. As a result, no adverse findings were found against the respondents.

The office in question was made to undergo training regarding the APS Code of Conduct.
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